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Product expected to enter market at end of year
Wartsila Corp. and Trojan Technologies have signed an agreement to jointly develop, market and distribute a ballast water treatment product for ships. The two companies said they will gain synergistic benefits from the combined strength of Wartsila’s global reach and presence in the marine market and from Trojan Technologies’ experience in developing ultraviolet treatment solutions. The ballast water treatment product is presently in pre-production, with third-party validation to take place in late 2010. The ballast water treatment product is expected to enter the market at the end of the year.
Changing regulations in the marine industry have driven the need for this new ballast water treatment product, the companies said. In 2004, the International Maritime Organization adopted the Global Ballast Water Convention, which mandated ballast water treatment. Ballast water is used to stabilize vessels when not fully loaded: water is taken in when a ship unloads cargo and released when it is loaded again. Water that is taken in at one port is often released at another, which can result in the introduction of non-indigenous organisms into fragile ecosystems. Untreated ballast water has been an issue of public concern during recent years.
According to the Global Ballast Water Convention, all vessels built prior to 2009 will need to install a certified ballast water treatment (BWT) system by 2014 or 2016, depending on the ballast water capacity of the vessel. Since 2009, all new vessels are required to install a BWT system. For the convention to come into full force, it must be ratified by 30 countries representing 35% of the global fleet’s dead weight tonnage. Currently 21 countries representing 23% of the world’s dead weight tonnage have ratified, and full ratification is expected to occur in 2011.
“Ballast Water Treatment is becoming an important item on the environmental agenda for our customers, and therefore also for us,” said Roger Holm, vice president, solutions management, Wartsila Services. “Moving into this field is a natural step for Wartsila, and one that continues the development of our environmental services portfolio.”