Evac's new OnlineMax vacuum systems highly popular in cruise ship retrofits

Evac is the technology leader in providing vacuum sanitary systems, wastewater treatment systems and in galley and dry waste handling systems for vessels. With the head office based in Finland, Evac has companies also in Norway, France, the United States, in China and in South Korea. A dedicated service center is based in Miami which also takes care of the service of the Evac Norsk Inova incinerators and dryers, installed on many cruise ships sailing in the region. Evac had net sales in 2010 of some 60 million euros and employs some 130 people.

"We have a rather good situation at Evac, for the time being," Mika Karjalainen, General Manager at Evac Oy, tells Cruise Business Review. Within their main business sector, vacuum sanitary systems for cruise ships, Evac has received a number of important orders recently – for P&O Princess Cruises newbuilding at Fincantieri, for MSC Cruises at STX in France (and also the similar Libyan cruise ship), and the latest two newbuildings for NCL at Meyer Shipyard. At Meyer Werft Evac also received the AIDA Cruises seventh ship. The company also supplies vacuum systems to the entire Solstice class series of vessels and supplied together with Norsk Inova the dry and wet waste treatment and collecting systems. 

Evac's scope of waste management products for cruise ships, in addition to the vacuum toilet system and tanks, includes also the grey waters system. "We provided the grey water automation system for Royal Caribbean International's Freedom, Voyager and Oasis class vessels," Karjalainen notes. Evac supplies vacuum food waste collection systems, dry waste treatment systems separating materials for re-cycling and incineration. These systems include bailing systems for aluminum cans, glass breakers and dry waste packaging. Evac also supplies the dryers for food and other waste to be incinerated.

In addition Evac produces its advanced wastewater treatment plant, Evac MBR. Sofar, Fred Olsen's 1,400 passenger Ms Breamar is the biggest cruise ship reference vessel. Evac's smaller MBR units, for 8 to 360 people, are typically supplied to other types of vessels, such as navy vessels and other types of commercial vessels. They have proven very popular in recent years. Some 200 units have been delivered and the order backlog is more than 200 units. One MBR 204F unit was recently delivered and commissioned for Arosa River Cruises' newbuilding Ms A-Rosa Brava.

In 2010 IMO's new resolution MEPC159(55) entered into force with new and more stringent limit values for effluent water from marine sewage treatment plants. Karjalainen tells CBR that the discussion in Alaska currently involves an evaluation period, based on which future limits of some metals in the wastewater will be decided on. "In the Baltic, the limits now proposed by HELCOM and by IMO are ok for our MBR process, and is a good compromise regarding nitrogen and phosphorus, in line with the wastewater limits typically applied within the EU," Karjalainen points out.

When looking at the recent products news within Evac there is the 910-type vacuum toilet, which is now Evac's main product sold. It was designed to provide silent operation. "Sound testing at VTT laboratories proven it is the most silent product on the market," Karjalainen notes.

Another new product is the OnlineMax vacuum tank collecting system. It has a very small size and footprint onboard despite its big capacity. "When compared to the previous generation vacuum system, still predominantly used onboard cruise ships, the OnlineMax is smaller, more efficient and it uses less energy," Karjalainen notes. "Compared to a conventional type vacuum system, the energy consumption is only some 25 percent." Evac has developed an on-line separator, separating the wastewater and air, through which the pumps for generating vacuum air (about at 0.5bar) and, for pumping wastewater have been optimized separately, providing a much improved efficiency. Four OnlineMax units would be sufficient to cater for the vacuum system for a big cruise ship plus some back-up units needed for redundancy.

"The OnlineMax system has proven very popular for retrofit installations," Karjalainen notes. "It is an efficient system to provide added capacity and more vacuum efficiency into old systems, either replacing the old system or installed in parallel." Evac recently received a big order for 16 OnlineMax units for several cruise ships for Holland America Line. Evac has received some smaller newbuilding projects with OnlineMax, but, according to Karjalainen, the big operators first want to see that it works well, before switching entirely to this system in their newbuilding projects. The system is also in use on Oasis of the Seas and on Allure of the Seas. On these vessels, the OnlineMax units are combined with traditional ejector systems. "This year we will provide some 100 of these units, mainly for retrofit projects," Karjalainen points out.

By Henrik Segercrantz 

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