Ballast Water

Innovative Ballast Water Treatment for the Protection of the Marine Ecosystems

International cargo shipping is growing in volume and frequency. Therewith, also the challenges regarding maritime environmental protection are increasing: The necessary loading of ballast water by ships in international waters and the subsequent discharge of ballast water in domestic waters results in an unintended “import / export” of invasive alien microorganisms and tiny creatures.

The “travelling” ballast water, which serves to stabilize the ships, constitutes a great risk to the marine ecosystem: The introduced alien species can eliminate the domestic sea dwellers, disrupt the whole food chain and disperse dangerous pathogenic germs. In 2004, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the United Nations adopted the Ballast Water Convention, which establishes binding rules on the treatment of ballast water. The Convention requires a ballast water management system to be installed on board every ship from 2009 onwards, yet – depending on keel laying and ballast water capacity – by 2016 at the latest.

In order to come into force, the Convention must be ratified by 30 states that represent at least 35 percent of the gross tonnage of global merchant shipping. Up to now, 25 states accounting for about 24 percent of the gross tonnage of global merchant shipping have executed this declaration under international law. Germany intends to issue the declaration in 2010, yet by 2013 at the latest. At this stage it is not possible to predict an exact date at which the Ballast Water Convention will become binding according to international law.

Even if binding rules are still pending, Beluga Shipping GmbH installs the environmentally friendly ballast water treatment system “CleanBallast”, which is modular applicable and fully complies with the so called D-2-Standard of the Ballast Water Convention, on all new vessels already now. The system works in salt water as well as in fresh water and has low costs of operation, such as low power consumption. “CleanBallast” was developed by Bremen-based RWO Marine Water Technology, a worldwide leading provider of systems for water treatment on ships and offshore platforms. The company is part of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, a subsidiary company of Veolia Water, one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of technological solutions for water treatment.

The ballast water treatment occurs by mechanical filtration of particles, sediments and organisms with a size of more than 50 micrometers, before the water is poured into the ballast water tanks. Moreover, an electrolytic disinfection of the ballast water takes place. As it is possible that organisms proliferate naturally, the ballast water is cleaned another time before it is discharged again.

By using an innovative ballast water treatment system at an early stage, Beluga Shipping GmbH further strengthens its market position as a technologically leading company in the maritime sector and takes environmental protection on board even before the statutory period expires.

Further information on the ballast water treatment system “CleanBallast“ is available on the website


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Innovative Ballast Water Treatment for the Protection of the Marine Ecosystems

Ballast water treatment system CleanBallast