Not Logged In, Login,

Friday, September 21, 2018


This week the International Maritime Organisation, in co-ordination with two other UN bodies, hosted the 1st Global Ballast Water Treatment Symposium.The main aim was to bring together all the various scientists, researchers, industry representatives and national bodies to assess the current state of ballast water treatment technology.

 A range of techniques were presented with 26 different speakers representing as many different research projects and design options currently under development. Most interesting was the general tendency to favour two specific options, namely the filtration and heat treatment options. However, a wide range of techniques and levels of development for each of the general concepts were shown and there is still some uncertainty as to how the options would fare on full size sea trials. Further options that were considered included biocide treatment, ozonation, UV radiation and hydrocyclone separation.

 In addition, a more focused workshop took place during the second half of the week which pooled the experts from both the IMO working group on ballast water and also other external experts on the issue. The aim of the workshop was to establish ‘standards’ for treatment levels, sampling methods and assessments of treatment techniques. From the general view of the symposium two options appeared to gain greatest support; i) all treatment techniques to be as good as or better than ballast water exchange, and ii) that all organisms above a certain size should be removed or destroyed. In many ways this was seen as an interim session to the IMO meetings so that biological and engineering based solutions could be developed in order to give MEPC a list of solutions to work with during legislative debate in April.

More information on the Symposium can be found at or by contacting Tim Wilkins