RWO helps keep Statsraad Lehmkuhl compliant 110 years after delivery

by | 30th May 2024 | Equipment, The Naval Architect - News

Home News RWO helps keep Statsraad Lehmkuhl compliant 110 years after delivery

The 1914-built tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl is now used as a sail-training and research vessel

The compact dimensions and simple design of RWO’s OWS-COM make it the ideal oily water separator for Statsraad Lehmkuhl, helping the unique vessel to comply with latest environmental regulations as it voyages worldwide

Built in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1914, Statsraad Lehmkuhl is a three-masted steel barque owned and operated by the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation in Bergen, Norway. While the vessel primarily serves as a sail-training ship, it is increasingly used for research purposes.

From August 2021 to April 2023, the tall ship engaged in the One Ocean Expedition, circumnavigating the globe to “share knowledge and raise awareness about the importance of the ocean for our common, sustainable future”. Following the success of the first voyage, the vessel will embark on its second One Ocean Expedition from April 2025 to April 2026, this time traversing the Northwest Passage before returning to Europe via the Panama Canal.

With regular training and sightseeing trips keeping it occupied between worldwide voyages, Statsraad Lehmkuhl operates in a variety of sensitive environments and emission control areas – and must therefore adhere to the strictest environmental regulations.

Hybrid battery power has been installed to help drive propellers when wind power alone is not enough, but the barque must also rely on diesel generators part of the time. Accordingly, the vessel is equipped with a state-of-the-art oily water separator (OWS) from RWO to minimise the impact of wastewater discharge.

OWS-COM: Compact and efficient

SV S Lehmkuhl 20240105 081521

RWO’s OWS-COM, installed onboard Statsraad Lehmkuhl


When the old OWS onboard Statsraad Lehmkuhl had to be replaced, it was clear to the operators that they would again opt for RWO equipment. The positive experience with the company and its technology as well as its global service network convinced the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation to choose OWS-COM. The new separator was installed under the guidance of RWO’s Norwegian service partner IRRSEA during the ship’s overhaul in 2023.

Tested and approved in line with IMO Resolution MEPC. 107(49) and Clean Design class rules, RWO’s OWS-COM uses a two-stage process to treat a ship’s bilge water prior to its discharge overboard. By minimising turbulence, the system’s suction-based operation achieves more efficient separation than comparable technologies and helps to keep components in working order for longer.

RWO is a leading supplier of intelligent water management solutions across commercial shipping, but the use of its technology on such an iconic vessel has not been based solely on the need for reliability and compliance alone. Built for a different era, there is little room to spare on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl, meaning that the size and configuration of the OWS were crucial considerations.

“As maritime regulations evolve, vessels require more and more onboard equipment to maintain compliance, but vintage vessels like Statsraad Lehmkuhl simply weren’t designed to accommodate the complex technology that is required today,” explains Per Sivertsen, Project Manager, Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation. “Installing and maintaining new systems including OWS can therefore be challenging and time consuming.”

According to Ron Dijkgraaf, Area Sales Manager, RWO, OWS-COM addresses this issue with its compact dimensions and straightforward design.

“OWS-COM is the ideal system for Statsraad Lehmkuhl as it not only achieves the highest standards for water treatment but also meets the vessel’s highly specific requirements regarding the size and configuration of onboard installations,” says Dijkgraaf. “It is a privilege to install our system on board such a beautiful and storied vessel and to thereby contribute to its vital training and research activities.”

Beyond supply and installation, RWO offers after-sales services and training to ensure that Statsraad Lehmkuhl’s crew can continue to use the OWS-COM safely and effectively, with local support provided by Norway-based marine service provider IRRSEA. Part of RWO’s global network, IRRSEA and its team of skilled engineers supported the onboard integration of the OWS and designed a solution for an additional settling tank for enhanced bilge water management.

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