Testing organisation DHI is to close its Singapore centre for land-based type-approval tests on ballast water management systems (BWMSs). From 1 March, DHI will only arrange shipboard tests from Singapore, while its Danish headquarters will continue to offer both types of testing. The organisation acts as a sub-laboratory to two USCG-approved independent laboratories – Lloyd’s Register and DNV GL.
LR’s technology lead for ballast water management Sahan Abeysekara told BWTT that DHI has offered the class society alternative test slots in Denmark to replace those currently planned for Singapore. For the future, he said that LR has another sub-laboratory in Asia for clients who wish to test in the region “and we are working on some other alternative options.” As a result, “we did not find the decision to close DHI-Singapore has had considerable impact on LR’s business or our clients,” he said.
DNV GL-Maritime’s senior principal engineer for environmental protection, Martin Olofsson, told BWTT that all its current projects at the laboratory will be completed by the end of February, “so the closing down has no major implications for DNV GL and our customers.” It will continue co-operating with DHI, both in Denmark and the shipboard testing team in Singapore, he added.
Meanwhile, DNV GL is in close contact with another land-based test facility in Asia and is exploring the possibility of include it as sub-laboratory to DNV GL’s role as an Independent Laboratory.
DHI’s Singapore operation was the first BWMS testing centre to be set up in a tropical climate but this has created difficulties. In a statement on its website, DHI reported that land-based testing requirements in the regulations “pose an increasing challenge to successful type-approval testing in tropical environments.” It said that this is “further affected by the challenging local biological conditions in Singapore waters.”
Its statement detailed the difficulties it faces, explaining that the requirement for the density of living organisms in the size class 10-50 μm in the challenge water “is difficult to fulfil in Singapore, as the dominating organisms in the local waters are smaller than 10 μm in the minimum dimension.” As a result, additional test organisms must be cultured in the laboratory – “with a substantial work effort”, the statement notes – and added to the local water.
In addition, the constant temperature of around 30˚C “is limiting the survival of the organisms in the untreated control in the type-approval tests with the result that the requests for longer holding times than 48 hours … cannot be met at the test facility in Singapore.”
It has three tanks with a total volume of 1,050 m3. It is not yet clear what will become of that infrastructure.