Water treatment on a sustainable training ship

STC Group's Ab Initio is an advanced ship, packed with innovations and the most sustainable of its kind. The ship serves as a training ship but also as a field lab. STC Group chose an innovative water treatment solution from PureBlue - The InnoPack Marine. We talked about the ship and the choice of PureBlue with Esther Ouwens Nagell, Senior Communication Advisor at STC Group and Peter Verheijen, Policy Advisor at the University of Rotterdam.


Why did STC-Group choose an InnoPack for this ship?

Esther: "The installation was specially tailored for the Ab Initio. Therefore, the InnoPack Marine, which is on board with us, is really 'one of a kind'. PureBlue's installations are many times more compact than other wastewater treatment systems. That was very interesting for us because there is limited space available on the Ab Initio. The Rhine and Inland Waterways Shipping Waste Decree states that inland waterway vessels may not pump wastewater into waters open to shipping traffic. Instead, wastewater must be stored for subsequent collection by an authorised processor. The problem here is that you have a lot of wastewater on board and that is actually not doable for many vessels given the space that's available. Of course, we also want to make our contribution to the environment and a sustainable world. That is why we set sustainable and innovative requirements for the ship right from the start of the project. In our opinion, the InnoPack fits this philosophy well. So a treatment system by PureBlue was chosen. Of course, this also anticipates the new legislation for passenger ships of more than 12 people."

How does STC-Group experience the partnership with PureBlue?
Esther: "When we visited PureBlue, we really enjoyed the fact that the innovative systems were explained with such enthusiasm and passion. Moreover, they work hard to continuously improve the treatment systems. Not only in the field of shipping, but also in other sectors. This is very nice: after all, we think that innovation with regard to treating wastewater, among other things, is badly needed. Last year, we visited Serbia, where the Ab Initio was being built. PureBlue's treatment plant had already been delivered by then. At that time, the Ab Initio was really still a hull ship, only a few steel plates had been welded together. Yet PureBlue's InnoPack was already showing off at the time. Naturally, we took a good look at that one too."

What exactly happens on the Ab Initio?
Peter: "The Ab Initio is not only a training ship but also an innovative field lab. In other words, we will conduct research on board, mainly with students and companies. So various installations and technologies will be investigated for usability and application. Therefore, it would be great if the data coming out of the InnoPack could be converted into teaching material for the students. This way, they can learn more about the InnoPack system and water quality. Meanwhile, we are working with PureBlue to make this a reality.

As an educational institution, it is very important to have long-term partnerships with maritime suppliers like PureBlue. For example, we can offer guest lectures from suppliers to our students. Currently, we are also working on teaching in other (innovative) ways. We think it would be very interesting to exploit the possibilities of augmented reality and virtual reality. We would love to create a virtual learning environment, for example, where lessons on the InnoPack are also given."