The Ballast Water Working Group of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection, which advises the MEPC, had carefully studied OceanSaver's application for final approval in July this year, and recommended that the MEPC grant this approval at its meeting in October. With final approval from MEPC, Norwegian authorities can grant type approval to the technology before year's end.
"This culminates, successfully, many years of effort and many thousands of hours of work on the part of our staff and partners," said OceanSaver Managing Director Stein Foss. "With final approval from the IMO's marine environment protection committee and type approval from DNV, we can offer the market a ballast water management system that accords with all applicable regulation now and into the future, and a solution that is optimal for marine applications."
After the MEPC meeting, there are four ballast water management systems with final approval according to the strict performance standards laid down in the IMO convention on ballast water treatment. This convention is still subject to ratification by 30 member governments representing 35 per cent of commercial tonnage, though it is believed that many nations hesitate to ratify before approved technology is available. With approval for systems like OceanSaver's, ratification is expected to accelerate. At MEPC 58, three additional nations ratified the convention, bringing the total to 16 nations representing 14.2 per cent of global tonnage.
"We have crossed a crucial frontier in terms of technological development, and now put our focus on successful commercialisation and production. We have established a strong global network of highly informed agents and secured production capacity to accommodate significant orders this year and in years to come," said Foss. OceanSaver made its first commercial delivery this autumn.
At MEPC 58, delegates reviewed available technologies for ballast water management, which included a review of their applicability on different vessel types and sizes. This revealed that few technologies were suitable for large vessels, such as many crude oil tankers, or complex tonnage, such as chemical or gas carriers. OceanSaver's solution was lauded as one of the few systems with scalability and performance suitable for these applications.