Inspectors from Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department have been given guidance on how to verify that ships entering the Kingdom’s ports are discharging ballast waters in accordance with the IMO’s D1 and D2 ballast water discharge standards. While 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, the UK-based company, Aqua-tools, has revealed that it has provided a series of training modules on how to use its B-QUA indicative test kit.
“All ships visiting Saudi Arabia’s ports and terminals from international waters have been required to provide samples and report on ballasting operations since 16 August, so we are delighted to have been invited to the Kingdom to ensure port state control inspectors have the knowledge and understanding required to quickly analyse the ballast water,” said Aqua-tools chief executive, Marc Raymond. “The ability to quickly sample, monitor and analyse ballast water is absolutely crucial in ensuring ships are not delayed and preventing port congestion and increasing additional cost.”
Following the Saudi training courses, Aqua-tools’ management team travelled to the UAE to provide training to Inspectorate International and SGS Gulf. These organisations provide independent inspection, sampling and testing services from a network of laboratories around the world.
Mr Raymond said: “We outlined the various techniques that can be used for monitoring the microbiological content of water and explained why indicative methodology is widely seen as the only viable solution for providing rapid and reliable results. We are confident that the latest Adenosine Tri-phosphates (ATP) testing methodology, such as that intrinsic to our B-QUA test kit, will prove to be the optimum solution for quantifying and qualifying the efficiency of ballast water treatment systems in meeting international discharge standards.”
There is a myriad of different technologies and techniques available for analysing ballast waters. However there is concern that some may not be as effective as others. Mr. Raymond concluded: “The organisations we visited across the Middle East now have a much better understanding of some of the problems inspectors and owners will face during testing and a better idea of some of the solutions available.”