What is undoubtedly the world’s most famous luxury yacht is successfully operating an advanced BIO-SEA ballast water treatment system from France’s BIO-UV Group.

Christina O, the 1943-built motor yacht named after the only daughter of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, was fitted with a low-flow BIO-SEA system last year as part of a major refurbishment at the D.K Fotinakis yard, in Greece.

To fit the limited space available in the 325ft long vessel’s machinery room, the 87m3/h capacity BIO-SEA L03-0087 system was supplied on two separate skids – one housing all mechanical components, the other the system’s electrical works.

“System size was a critical concern,” said Costas Carabelas, Managing Director, Costas Carabelas Technical Office (CCTO), the naval architect and engineering firm responsible for yard and equipment selection, engineering and installation.

“It was a challenge. This ship is like a museum, so any new installations had to fit in the existing space without requiring any significant structural change,” said Carabelas.

The French manufacturer suggested a plug-and-play, split skid version of its BIO-SEA L-Series as this allowed CCTO’s technical teams to dismantle the main components to easily pass-through the hatches without cutting holes in the vessel. The BWTS was rebuilt in-situ, in the engine room.

The bespoke BIO-SEA skids were successfully installed in July 2021 subsequently commissioned by BIO-UV Group’s service partner MACOR, based in the South of France.

“The level of service provided by MACOR during the commissioning was excellent,” said Carabelas. “The BIO-SEA system is operating as expected; performance is excellent.  It is very simple to operate, and the yacht is now compliant with the IMO D2 standard and the USCG regulations.

“In BIO-SEA we found a ballast water treatment system that meets the very high standards required of this sector: a compact design, high-end components, yacht-standard aesthetics and a competitive price,” he furthered.

Franck Perier, the technical supervisor leading BIO-SEA by BIO-UV Group’s service department, said: “This is a very famous ship and the testimony received reflects the positive feedback we get from all operators of a BIO-SEA system. Since the Christina O installation, CCTO has recommended BIO-SEA systems to other luxury yacht operators.”

BIO-SEA has established a reputation in the sector for BWTS installation simplicity and flexibility, with a significant number of newbuild and retrofit installations indicating “dynamic market conditions”.

“There is certainly increased demand for low flow rate BWTS for retrofit and newbuild yacht projects,” Perier said.

The Ballast Water Management Convention entered into force in September 2017 and applies to all vessels that take up and use ballast water on international voyages.

With flow rates ranging from 10m3/h to 120m3/h, the Low-Flow BIO-SEA range can be available with CuNiFe pipework for enhanced corrosion protection and in a range of gloss finishes. Additional upgrades include a new PLC with a more compact, touch screen and control cabinet.

Florian Cortes, Technical Director, BIO-SEA by BIO-UV Group, said: “We have enhanced the system specifically to meet stringent yacht sector requirements. In addition to size and ease-of-use, the BIO-SEA L range negates the need for an additional power cabinet.

“We have also been able to reduce the number, size and length of UV lamps without impacting treatment performance. By continually developing UV water treatment technology we are able to meet our yachting customers high expectations.”