Saudi Aramco is to use FastBallast portable ballast water analysers made by Chelsea Technologies “as a benchmark testing device to conduct spot checks on indicative sampling undertaken by third-party sampling companies,” a statement by the manufacturer said last week.
BWTT is seeking clarification over how this service will operate alongside the agreement announced on Monday between Saudi Arabia and the Swiss testing and certification organisation, SGS Group, which will be using equipment supplied by aqua-tools of France to inspect and monitor treated ballast water in vessels arriving at ports in Saudia Arabia.
In its statement, Chelsea Technolgies said that its FastBallast was selected “following a detailed technical review conducted by Saudi Aramco’s inhouse marine biology experts, who identified FastBallast as the most accurate solution in the market for the indicative sampling of ballast water.”
Together with Global Strategic Alliance Saudi Arabia (GSA), its agent for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Chelsea Technologies has also provided consultancy and guidance to Saudi Aramco’s inhouse experts on testing and sampling standards and processes that should be put in place to ensure compliance with IMO standards. In addition, GSA is working closely with the Saudi Arabia authorities to utilise FastBallast as the national benchmark for indicative ballast water sampling, its statement said.
It quoted Chelsea Technologies managing director Brian Phillips, who paid tribute to “the confidence of Saudi Aramco in the unrivalled accuracy and reliability of FastBallast that it has been selected as the gold standard for ballast water sampling in ensuring compliance with the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention” and looked forward to “working together with Saudi Aramco to ensure that all third-party ballast water sampling meets the high standards of compliance now required of all vessels calling at Saudi Aramco ports and terminals from international waters.”
This announcement followed a Saudi Aramco workshop attended by GSA on 26 July. It was held to support the launch of ballast water indicative sampling at all Saudi Aramco ports and terminals, which has been required since 16 August. GSA and Chelsea Technologies now plan to make the FastBallast devices available to shipowners and operators throughout Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.