Sarens Switches to Biodegradable Oil for All Barge Hydraulic Systems

17 August 2020

94306_Powerpack Bio markering (1)

Sarens is pleased to announce that it is switching to biodegradable oil for all its ballasting systems on barges. As part of this important environmental initiative, all Sarens ballasting systems will convert to using Biohydran TMP hydraulic fluid in 2020, and 40% have already made the switch. This move represents Sarens’ commitment to protecting the environments in which it operates.

Oil is necessary for heavy lifting work where hydraulic systems are used to move heavy loads in an efficient way. The zinc added to commercial hydraulic oils, however, can cause environmental damage in the case of a malfunction or oil spill. This has serious implications for aquatic environments where barges operate.

Biodegradable oil replaces zinc with a natural additive to help maintain hydraulic components like motors and cylinders. This is important because Sarens uses submersible ballasting pumps with up to 1.000l/h pumping capacity to load out heavy modules. Because this system operates within water environments, using more environmentally-responsible oil creates an added layer of protection for fragile ecosystems and marine life.

For Sarens, switching to biodegradable oil is three times more expensive than continuing to use regular hydraulic oil. This includes investing in an oil-cleaning installation to filter used oil so it can be reused in other hydraulic jacking systems, eliminating the need for oil disposal.

The Biohydran TMP oil comes with the European Ecolabel, which promotes products with a lower environmental impact throughout their life cycle. The European Ecolabel requires that products meet seven key environmental criteria, including biodegradability according to OECD Standard 301.

Sarens has invested €500K in this important environmental project, which includes implementing the new hydraulic oil, regenerating it for reuse, and modifying older ballast pumps to avoid oil spills in the case of malfunction. As part of this initiative, Sarens is bringing all ballasting equipment, which is spread across Europe, back to its base in Wolvertem, Belgium to make the switch.

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