Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Container Freight And Tanker Shipping Line Help Develop New Ballast Water Treatment

MOL Assist in Introduction of an Environmentally Friendly System
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – WORLDWIDE – Anyone who has read some of the horror stories we have written regarding the devastating effects of alien species invading an environment after being flushed from the ballast water tanks of a bulk tanker or freight vessel will be pleased to know another of the major shipping lines and container carriers has received approval for a new treatment system designed to combat the problem.

Mitsui OSK Lines and MOL Marine Consulting Ltd have joined together with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co, The Japan Association of Marine Safety, pump producers Shinko, the Marine Technology Institute and the Laboratory of Aquatic Science Consultant Company to bring the FineBallast® OZ ballast sterilization system to fruition. The treatment earned its certificate of compliance from the Japanese government with effect from the 6th June.

Certification required a full-scale on-land test of the system by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and other participant companies and an onboard test on the MOL-operated containership MOL Express. Both tests verified the system’s complete conformity to the ballast water treatment standard. The system was audited based on guidelines set out in the International Convention for the “Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (G8),” adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) following successful final approval under the “Procedure for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems that Make Use of Active Substances (G9)” by the IMO at the end of September 2010.

The new treatment aligns with MOL’s sworn corporate intent to utilise cleaner technology in all its operations and to take a proactive stance in initiatives to protect the marine environment and preserve biodiversity. The techniques used to cleanse the ballast water are to employ the synergistic effect of chemical killing treatment by the oxidation power of the active ingredient (ozone) and a physical killing process using a specially designed pipe placed in the ballast water piping lines. This provides both an instantly strong killing effect and a long-lasting bactericidal effect.

The killing treatment occurs as the ballast water is pumped into the ship, this prevents the explosion of organisms in what for them is an extremely friendly environment. There is no need for a chemical agent for ozone supply and storage as the system produces the required amount of ozone as needed, extracting it from air. The ozone enters the system as micro bubbles ensuring a high absorption efficiency and maximum contact with plankton and bacteria. Finally any harmful substances are removed from the ballast water by filtering through activated charcoal without any environmental impact.