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Tackling new challenges with a passion for the environment

Kristina Effler has a passion for the environment, and also for helping customers find the best ballast water treatment solution. As the new Global Business Manager for PureBallast, Kristina Effler brings 12 years of experience from diverse roles throughout the company’s many divisions.

DATE 2017-07-13

Nobody has been more thrilled by Kristina Effler’s lengthy tenure with Alfa Laval than Kristina herself. “I never thought I would stay this long!” she laughs. “But there are lots of great opportunities and a wonderful atmosphere—I get to meet such good people who are working to build the competence within Alfa Laval.”

Kristina Effler

Joining Alfa Laval’s Marine Division in 2011 represented a significant moment in Kristina’s career. She has had a lifelong interest in the environment, and studied energy efficiency while completing an M.Sc. in mechanical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her work in recent years has allowed her to play a larger role in promoting products that advance green solutions. “We are doing good things, and this is what drives me,” she says.

Full speed ahead

Alfa Laval PureBallast represents an exciting new challenge for Kristina, who is preparing for major growth in the market for ballast water treatment technology. With the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention taking effect in September 2017, a boom in retrofits is expected. “And that’s where my team and I come in,” she says. “I’m jumping on a train that is already moving at full speed.”

What does that mean for Kristina’s job? “It’s early for me to tell, but we’ll be very busy!” she says, adding that the new rules mean tight time constraints when it comes to meeting compliance for ship owners.

While it’s an intense pace, Kristina is looking forward to working with a system in such high demand. “PureBallast 3.1 presents a complete, energy efficient solution for all ship owners dealing with the new regulations,” she says. “It ensures fully compliant performance for all possible water conditions: fresh, brackish or marine— and even in challenging waters at full flow, far beyond what other systems can handle.”

A knowledge leader

Prior to joining the PureBallast team, Kristina spent five years as the Global Business Manager for Alfa Laval PureNOx. Here, she created Alfa Laval’s Water Treatment Exhaust Gas business area from scratch, overseeing the successful commercial development of the system. “PureNOx was my baby,” she says. “I am so proud that we built a dedicated team, who are as enthusiastic about the product today as they were when we started.”

Kristina sees a lot from this role that has prepared her to tackle the demands facing PureBallast. “There are many similarities in the way to market for all environmental products, as well as with respect to the IMO approval process,” she says. “The knowledge I have from working with PureNOx will be a great advantage.”

Those similarities mean that Kristina anticipates familiar concerns from PureBallast customers. In particular, there can often be uncertainty about the requirements with new legislation. Questions about when a customer needs to implement new equipment and what they need to secure compliance are common.

“Alfa Laval is the frontrunner with these solutions and has a lot of knowledge that can help,” Kristina says. She works with her team to make sure customers know that when they come to Alfa Laval with compliance questions, they will get the right answers.

Building that sense of trust is especially important for the many customers now preparing to install a new ballast water treatment system. In most cases, the process will involve a carefully planned drydocking. “Customers understand not just the reliability of PureBallast and its performance,” Kristina adds, “but also the strong support Alfa Laval gives in terms of coordinating between the many partners involved in the technical and logistical challenges of retrofitting a vessel for ballast water treatment.”

Seeing the bigger picture

Of course, Kristina also wants people to see the broader significance of BWM regulation and the positive impact systems like PureBallast can have on the global marine environment.

“As humans, every time we do something that changes an ecological system, there is going to be a drastic effect,” she says. “The results of invasive organisms released in ballast water are not immediate, but come over a longer period of time, and that’s why we need to act now. In the end, PureBallast is about creating a sustainable balance of human impact on the environment.”

The environmental benefits of PureBallast is what attracted Kristina to her new position, and she has been excited to find that her new team shares her passion on these issues. From every entity—R&D, marketing, service—there is an enthusiastic commitment to PureBallast. “This is a complete team,” she says, “and we’re working at full speed for a common goal.”

Even her thumb is green

With such a clear passion for nature, it should be no surprise that Kristina spends much of her free time working in the garden. After renting an allotment on a whim ten years ago, she quickly fell in love with the hobby and finds it endlessly fascinating.

But does she ever think about her own patch of nature when working on environmental projects at Alfa Laval?

“They go hand in hand for me,” is her answer. “I want to work with something that I feel is ethically right, and I live my private life in the same way.”