In addition to the fast-approaching 2020 sulphur cap of 0.5%, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set a 2024 D-2 standard deadline requirement for the correct discharge of ballast water. The IMO outlines the details for complying with the Ballast Water Management Convention in the infographic below:

BWM infographic

The IMO states that:
While ballast water is essential for safe and efficient modern shipping operations, it may pose serious ecological, economic and health problems due to the multitude of marine species carried in ships’ ballast water. These include bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, eggs, cysts and larvae of various species. The transferred species may survive to establish a reproductive population in the host environment, becoming invasive, out-competing native species and multiplying into pest proportions. In the late 1980’s, Canada and Australia were among countries experiencing particular problems with invasive species, and they brought their concerns to the attention of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee.

Hapag Lloyd is one of the leading operators that is acting on the 2024 deadline, it recognises the environmental threat as ballast water is loaded and then discharged from a ‘native’ marine environment to a ‘host’ marine environment. By 2024, vessels will require a ballast water management system (BWMS) that fulfils both IMO and the more stringent US Coast Guard (USCG) requirements when entering US waters. The USCG stipulates that organisms must be completely destroyed before ballast water is discharged.

The Toronto Express is one of Hapag Lloyd’s biggest vessels, and at the time of writing is moored in Montreal, Canada. It currently operates on the Hamburg to Montreal route and is vulnerable to the type of contamination described above, taking on huge volumes of ballast water whilst travelling thousands of nautical miles during every trip. The vessel has recently been installed with a BWMS of 750 m3/h capacity, following the completion of land-based tests in spring 2019. The system uses UV radiation without any chemicals or byproducts and the compact design makes it an attractive package for the operator. Installation was carried out in just four weeks during regular vessel operations and coincided with a general overhaul docking in Hamburg.

Simplex-Turbulo is an expert in the field of ballast water management and can supply the same system as that installed on the Toronto Express. With successful testing completed, Simplex-Turbulo aims to receive full BWMS certification from both the IMO and USCG by early 2020.