May 2017

USCG type approval of RayClean Ballast Water Treatment System – Update

Legislative and technical efforts regarding acceptance of the MPN method in the US are making good progress, reaffirming our believe that the MPN method will become accepted in the US in the near future. This will pave the way for USCG type approvals of eco-friendly UV-based ballast water treatment systems such as the RayClean system. In the meantime ship operators using the RayClean system will be allowed to discharge ballast water into US waters thanks to the RayClean system’s AMS acceptance.

DESMI Ocean Guard was the second company in the world to complete all required type approval testing according to both IMO and USCG requirements and submit a formal type approval application to the US Coast Guard. Inability of the USCG to accept the MPN method used for determination of the number of living organisms have so far delayed issuance of the USCG type approval, but several ongoing technical and legislative activities in the US now points towards an acceptance of the MPN method in the near future, paving the way for a USCG type approval of the RayClean system.

Furthermore, as the IMO has reaffirmed the continued use of reproductive methods, the objective scientific evidence and international support for the MPN method has become increasingly apparent and as such we anticipate that the USCG will, with appropriate guidance from U.S. Congress, also soon apply standards and test protocols that facilitate Type Approval of eco-friendly UV-based ballast water treatment systems, such as the RayClean system.

In the meantime the RayClean system’s AMS acceptance allows for discharge of ballast water into US waters for a period of five years after the vessel’s compliance date. This means that shipowners with confidence can continue to install and operate the RayClean system, thus avoiding investing in over-powered ballast water treatments systems with significantly increased and excessive OPEX.

In DESMI we feel great responsibility towards our customers in supplying high quality products that are truly fit for purpose. To us, a BWTS fit for purpose must be capable of treating the ballast water a ship is likely to encounter in worldwide trade, which means the system must be able to handle all salinities, all normal sea water temperatures and UV-T values as low as approx. 40%. For this reason we have, unlike several of our competitors, decided not to re-test the RayClean BWTS only in high UV-T water and obtain a USCG Type Approval with a UV-T limitation that severely impacts the operation and usability of the system. Instead, we keep working together with the US Authorities in order to reach a US acceptance of the MPN method, which is already accepted everywhere else in the world. Today we have good reasons to believe we are getting close to acceptance of the MPN method in the US, and thus USCG type approval of the RayClean system.