“Confidence & Accuracy Critical to Ballast Water Compliance”
by Dr Brian Phillips, Managing Director, Chelsea Technologies Group for Maritime Reporter.
CTG has direct experience of ballast water management and compliance with the high standards demanded by regulators. CTG’s FastBallast Compliance Monitoring System was identified by Saudi Aramco’s in-house marine biology experts as the most accurate solution in the market for the sampling and testing of ballast water, and will be used to conduct spot checks undertaken by third-party sampling companies.
FastBallast is able to accurately determine the phytoplankton cell density of ballast water to IMO D2 & USCG Discharge Standards (10-50 µm range). It is the only technology that can provide a high degree of accuracy as both an integrated flow through system and as a portable compliance tool, providing the port state control officer the same level of confidence in the results as with laboratory analysis, in-situ and in a much-reduced timeframe. FastBallast’s straightforward sampling and analysis techniques are being successfully applied to negate disputes and reduce the risk of non-compliance worldwide. Additionally, Global Strategic Alliance Saudi Arabia (GSA), CTG’s agent for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, is working closely with the Saudi Arabian authorities to set FastBallast as the national benchmark for accurate and reliable ballast water sampling.
Saudi Aramco and the US Coast Guard have set high standards in environmental sustainability, and are proactively driving change ahead of regulations. It is clear that ballast water monitoring and the issue of compliance is here to stay, and vessel owners and operators should take steps now – both to maintain the asset value of their vessels, and to future-proof their operations and maintain and indeed grow their market share. Ship owners and crews must have confidence in the integrity of the BWTS they have invested in, and the crew should have the training to give them the knowledge and expertise to spot any issues with the compliance data. Failure to do so will prolong damage to the environment and will impact brand and reputation. For ship owners, this will lower profitability and reduce the available share of the market.