Coming clean

Detegasa manufactures environmental pollution control systems for the marine sector and during its 45 years of service has become a leading light in its field. Based at a factory in Valdoviño, Spain, that combines facilities for research and development, design, manufacture, repair and refurbishing, and offices, the company employs 100 staff including highly skilled engineers to provide both products and aftersales services. Detegasa offers a wide product range of systems, amongst which five can be highlighted: incinerators, oily water separators, sewage treatment plants, inert gas systems and functional modules.

Deputy manager Andrés Moya Fernández discusses the latest addition to the company’s sewage treatment models: “The new IMO resolution, MEPC.159(55), which came into force in January 2010, has resulted in more stringent requirements for the discharge of onboard sewage. Apart from adapting our existing sewage treatment plants we have also developed a new type of equipment based on the emerging technology of membrane bioreactors.

“Our new models incorporate the Mitsubishi Rayon, a proprietary hollow fibre membrane technology, and we have become the official dealer for this product in the marine sector,” he adds. “With this new design, Detegasa widens its Sewage Treatment System portfolio, offering three different types of technologies to the market: the traditional – bioreactors; the membrane bioreactors; and the physical chemical plants. We think membrane bioreactors are good options for vessels with high crew numbers due to the compact size, and also the physical barrier of the membranes results in a more than excellent effluent quality. This ensures that legislation is complied with not only now but also into the future.”

The introduction of Mitsubishi Rayon into its sewage plants highlights one of Detegasa’s strongest characteristics. Its research and development department is dedicated to the task of ensuring that all of its technology remains up to date, modifying existing designs so that they meet the latest standards whilst also developing entirely new models to add to the range. This has been particularly important in recent times when environmental concerns have pushed the issue of vessel pollution to the forefront.

Detegasa recently brought Remote Control and Monitoring Systems (RCS) to its products, another technological step forward for the company. Developed by the R&D department in combination with the aftersales team, it allows problem diagnosis and troubleshooting remotely via an internet connection. This provides a quick and cost effective response as it normally enables the company to solve the problem without sending a technician in person. It also helps better error reports to be kept, giving crucial information on how to improve future maintenance. RCS can be installed throughout Detegasa’s product portfolio and once again illustrates the company’s dedication to remaining at the forefront of developments, thereby helping its customers achieve the best results possible.

“Another very important factor of our success is our extensive agent network that is present in more than 40 countries worldwide,” adds Andrés. “This allows us to provide perfect support to all of our customers across the globe in everything from spare parts to technical assistance within 24/48 hours of the problem arising. We also have qualified technicians for commissioning and troubleshooting available to travel at any time. The company also provides a special service to clients that want advice in performing maintenance and currently has 40 different specialised vessels taking advice on how to improve their environmental credentials at the moment.”

As one of the leading names in the sector it is no surprise that Detegasa can claim some very high profile companies and organisations as its clients. Its agent network cover the 25 most important shipbuilding countries in the world including the top countries and regions such as China, Korea, Singapore, Brazil and Europe, where it serves the offshore construction, cargo, cruise and commercial industries. Notably Detegasa also works with some of the world’s most prominent navies including Spain, Russia, Norway, the UK, Australia, Italy and many others. All its clients are drawn by the high quality of environmental protection and superb customer service on offer.

Looking at business, Andrés discusses how the company is taking measures to combat a slow market: “The market is weak but we are able to subsist, and even grow. Recently we have begun making special efforts in reinforcing our presence throughout countries such as China, Brazil and Singapore, regions where the shipbuilding industry is moving. We have even established our own base in China to better support our agents in the region. Strides have been taken to focus on the offshore construction market because this is less affected by financial crises in the international economy. This sector is growing in many countries such as Brazil, Korea, Singapore, Russia and even China, and there is currently not so much competition for us here. New successes here are achieved every day by us.”

He concludes with similar confidence in the future prospects for Detegasa: “With attitudes to the environment changing – reflected in the increasingly restrictive pollution controls introduced by the IMO – there is plenty of space for our anti-pollution equipment. For example, bilge water legislation will soon demand oil-water separators with a maximum range of five ppm; at Detegasa we have recently had our bilge water separators certified down to five ppm; and our new sewage treatment plant also offers plenty of similar advantages, of course. We are trying to make our products more price competitive every day by working hard and improving the productivity in our factory, by re-engineering our products to improve the quality-price relation, and by working more closely with our agent network.”

New sewage treatment plant
New remote control system
Leading anti-pollution manufacturer