Optimarin, a ballast water treatment (BWT) system provider, has announced that it will conduct independent testing of filters provided by Boll & Kirch, Filtersafe and Filtrex.

“Filter performance is critical to the safe and economical operation of all merchant and offshore vessels. We have decided to test our filter types, each built on different technologies, in challenging water conditions to provide accurate assessments of each filter and to further integrate high performance filtration processes in our BWT technology,” said Tore Andersen, Sales and Marketing Director, Optimarin.

Higher levels of nitrate concentrations in the Yellow Sea east of China and southwest of South Korea have created higher densities of algae, leading to algae blooms – a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in an aquatic system. Algal bloom concentrations may reach millions of cells per milliliter.

The company said it has commissioned several successful systems in this region, but is now using this opportunity to test all system filters under equal seawater conditions.

A barge test facility will be set up close to Busan and Geoje. From here, a series of tests will be conducted on 500 cubic meter filters supplied by three filter manufacturers: Boll & Kirch, Filtersafe and Filtrex.

On-site testing will monitor filter capacity, ensuring that each filter more than adequately cleans and processes large volumes of sea water from this area, as well as guaranteeing reliability of uninterrupted and trouble-free operation.

According to Optimarin, a number of shipping organizations have submitted a paper to the IMO with a list of concerns over requirements for ships to have ballast water systems installed and voiced market-wide concern about maritime technology delivering on its promises.

Optimarin expects to start testing by mid-September.