Ballast water testing equipment manufacturer aqua-tools is awaiting feedback from trials of its B-QUA testing system by Saudi Aramco, which is responsible for port state control procedures in Saudi Arabia.
In an exclusive interview with BWTT on 20 December, aqua-tools’ chief executive Marc Raymond said that he was hopeful of securing approval that its equipment will be accepted as providing an indicative analysis of ballast water, as defined by IMO. Shortly after Mr Raymond spoke to BWTT, Saudi Aramco representatives visited aqua-tools’ French headquarters and he later said he expected to receive their feedback shortly.
In anticipation of that acceptance, aqua-tools had provided inspectors from Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department with training on how to verify that ships entering the Kingdom’s ports are discharging ballast waters in accordance with the D1 and D2 ballast water discharge standards, set out in IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.
Since 16 August, all ships visiting Saudi Arabia’s ports and terminals from international waters have been required to provide samples and report on ballasting operations, but the Kingdom’s port state control authority has yet to confirm which class-approved ballast water testing system it will use to analyse the water, aqua-tools said in a statement.
Following the Saudi training courses, aqua-tools’ management team travelled to the UAE to provide training to Inspectorate International and SGS Gulf, which provide independent inspection, sampling and testing services from a network of laboratories around the world, the statement added.
It quoted Mr Raymond as saying that its Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP) testing methodology “will prove to be the optimum solution for quantifying and qualifying the efficiency of ballast water treatment systems in meeting international discharge standards.”
He told BWTT that the ATP method is more effective than other techniques since it can address all three fractions of organisms in ballast water – bacteria, those between 10 µm and 50 µm, and those greater than 50 µm.