Oslo: DNV has issued its very first type approval certificate for a treatment system, which will reduce the spread of organisms through ballast water. The system has been developed by the Swedish company Alfa Laval.

Based on data from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the rate of new unwanted fish, shells and micro-organisms introduced into new areas is continuing to: “increase at an alarming rate, in many cases exponentially, and new areas are being invaded all the time.” The IMO has identified the introduction of new species via ballast water as: “one of the four greatest threats to the world’s oceans.”

Together with Alfa Laval and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), DNV has overviewed the intensive tests to ensure that the product is ready for installation on board ships. The system is one of the very first systems worldwide to meet the thorough requirements and obtain approval.

The IMO has adopted a new Ballast Water Convention that is expected to come into force in the next few years after the required number of ratifiers has been achieved. The effect of the convention and thus the IMO’s ambitions cannot be achieved without available technology. As soon as the convention has been ratified, systems to prevent the spread of organisms through ballast water will be mandatory. In a transition period different systems for exchaning the ballast water will be accepted, while ballast treatment systems will be required from 2012 - 2016, dependent of ship size and age.

“Right now, global trade is increasing by more than ever before and more ballast water is being transported across all oceans. At the same time, we have never had better information on the consequences of introducing new organisms to new areas. All those involved have to take responsibility for reducing these problems. By approving this new system, another step has been taken to solve a major environmental problem,” says Kåre Klokk, head of section at DNV Maritime.

The type approval certificate has been issued on behalf of the Norwegian MaritimeAdministration and confirms compliance with MEPC.125(53) and MEPC.126(53).