“We’re really delighted to receive this approval from the IMO. It shows that chemical-free water purification is needed for a sustainable future,” says Torkel Elgh, President, Wallenius Water.
PureBallast’s patented technology imitates nature’s method of cleaning. With the aid of UV light and a titanium dioxide-based surface, free radicals are created that break down microorganisms and bacteria. The cell membrane of the organisms dissolves, making it safe to release the ballast water. Nature keeps things clean in a similar way, by creating free radicals from sunlight and seawater.
It is very positive that there are now environment-friendly solutions on the market. As PureBallast is chemical-free, it solves one problem without creating another,” says Lasse Gustavsson, Secretary General of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Although the UN classifies discharges of untreated ballast water as one of the biggest environmental threats facing the world, Sweden has not yet signed the convention that forces ships to start treating their ballast water. It has previously been claimed that there are no alternative solutions. At present only 14 countries, which account for around 4 per cent of discharges of ballast water, have ratified the convention. For it to come into force it is a requirement that at least 30 countries, which account for 35 per cent of discharges, add their signatures. Without the convention, the majority of shipowners see no reason to treat ballast water, even though solutions do exist. If the EU countries were to sign the convention, it would come into force.
“It’s remarkable that Sweden has not yet ratified the convention, but we are hopeful that this will happen soon. Otherwise Sweden risks damaging its strong environmental profile,” says Torkel Elgh, President, Wallenius Water.
Since sales started in 2006, PureBallast, which is sold by Alfa Laval, has been bought for installation in more than 25 ships. All Wallenius ships will be provided with PureBallast.