Companies support standard-setting work, although understanding of ISO’s role remains patchy
A number of companies involved in ballast water management have got involved in the work of the International Organization for Standardization (known as ISO) in developing standards for ballast water management. But it was clear from BWTT’s research for this publication that there is a wide range of knowledge and views about ISO’s role and relevance.
In a detailed survey distributed to ballast water management system (BWMS) manufacturers, BWTT asked whether ISO’s work featured in their planning. Of the manufacturers that offered feedback, some have become involved in aspects of its work and others are monitoring its activities.
One admitted to being unaware of ISO’s involvement in ballast water management. A senior executive of another BWMS manufacturer said that because ballast water management rules are largely set by IMO, the USCG and classification societies, “I don’t really know what ISO is trying to achieve.” If his company thought there was an aspect of ISO’s work it could contribute to, then “most certainly” it would join. “But at the moment we don’t. We are only observing,” he added.
One of the manufacturers that is contributing to ISO’s work is SunRui of China. It welcomed an ISO delegation – accompanied by BWTT – to its premises in Qingdao in September 2017, and subsequently proposed two projects to ISO that were related to safety aspects of BWMS operation. SunRui received approval for its involvement in March this year.
Its work will “provide significant and reliable technical support for hydrogen safety measures, health and risk assessment in terms of design, installation and risk control requirements on ballasting water management system using the electrolytic method,” one of those who drafted SunRui’s proposals, Grace Lee, told BWTT.
The projects are ISO 23315, Hydrogen Safety Measures on Ballast Water Management System using Electrolytic Method, and ISO 23314, Health and Risk Assessment on Ballast Water Management System using Electrolytic Method. China, Japan, the US, Russia, Denmark and Panama nominated experts to take an active role in developing the projects, under SunRui’s leadership.
Hydrogen gas is inevitably generated as a by-product of electrolysis, Ms Lee said, so the ‘Hydrogen Safety Measures’ project will provide guidance on the design and installation requirements of BWMS using an electrolytic method to mitigate potential hazards posed by hydrogen, she explained. SunRui’s ‘Health and Risk Assessment’ work will identify other risks to BWMSs using an electrolytic method, such as those caused by poor water quality, blocked filters and storage of neutralising agents.
Hydrogen gas is inevitably generated as a by-product of electrolysis
Another company to get involved is the French test-kit manufacturer aqua-tools, which makes the B-Qua ballast water testing kit. Its business development manager for ballast water Carine Magdo told BWTT that she heard about the ISO’s work “by searching for information to write a document to give guidance to our customers about representative sampling.”
As a result, the company decided to get involved with ISO’s work and will work with French standardisation organisation AFNOR (Association Française de Normalisation) and ISO to establish new chapters for ISO 11711, which addresses ballast water sampling and analysis and is being developed at IMO’s request.
At present, ISO 11711-1:2013 provides guidance on the materials, design, and installation of equipment used to take samples of treated ballast water from the discharge pipe on board a vessel, but does not yet include a standard on how to perform the representative sampling and analysis of ballast water, aqua-tools’ statement said.
ISO is working on new chapters, 11711-2 and 11711-3, which are intended to provide guidance on the selection and use of the sampling apparatus. One company that is monitoring progress on that topic is Alfa Laval, whose vice president and head of its PureBallast work, Anders Lindmark, told BWTT that it will make “minor updates to our sample device once the standard is agreed and final.”
Among other companies taking part in some ISO work are Desmi Oceanguard and UniBallast, both focusing on aspects relevant to their work. Desmi Oceanguard chief executive Rasmus Folsø highlighted a project that is developing a standard for CFD scaling of UV-based BWMSs, while UniBallast director Fulko Roos said that it is part of the ISO 23055 expert working group, which is establishing requirements for an international ballast water transfer connection flange in accordance with the IMO guidelines G5 for ballast water reception facilities.
ISO links regulations to the real world
Last year marked 70 years of involvement in shipping topics by the International Organization for Standardization (known as ISO). It has addressed topics specific to ballast water management (BWM) for more than a decade.
Its Technical Committee No 8 (TC8) addresses ships and marine technology. One of that committee’s working groups, No 12 (WG 12), was set up in 2016 to focus specifically on aquatic nuisance species, and took on TC8’s work on BWM.
WG 12’s convenor is Carolyn Junemann, an environmental protection specialist at the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. Speaking in September 2017, she said that ISO’s role in maritime discussions is to provide a link “between IMO regulations and requirements and what industry really needs.”
Dr Junemann was addressing the International BWM Technology and Standardization Forum, organised by the Shipbuilding Information Center of China (SICC) and BIMCO. She explained that WG 12 “supports the entry into force of [IMO’s] Ballast Water Management Convention and all matters arising from non-indigenous or invasive species and aquatic nuisances.”
Her group’s particular focus at the time of the conference was standard ISO 11711, which deals with sampling and compliance standards and relates to IMO guidelines G2 for ballast water sampling. “We felt this was an important standard to develop so that people operating the ship and those doing compliance monitoring all are on the same page, so there are no misunderstandings,” Dr Junemann said.
Part 1 of that standard refers to the design and implementation of the sample port required on board a ship to obtain representative samples. “This would be considered a permanent installation on the ship, so we give guidance on where to place the sample port,” she said. Part 2 will address how a port state control officer will take a sample, including the sample probe and collection device.
There will subsequently be a Part 3 to the standard, which will define how the sample is then analysed. Work on that had not started in September but, as mentioned elsewhere in this report, some companies are involved in supporting ISO in developing this and other ballast management-related standards (see ‘Industry gets involved in ISO work’).
Other standards being developed include one that is exploring how UV systems can be scaled up, Dr Junemann said, and others that will establish specifications for electrochlorination systems. That topic has since been taken on by the Chinese BWMS manufacturer SunRui, with backing from a number of international experts.
Responding to a question after her presentation, Ms Junemann appealed for more industry involvement in developing these standards. Asked when one particular standard would be ready, given the anticipated rush for retrofits in the next few years, she invited conference delegates to participate in ISO’s work. “We can accelerate the timeline, but it requires a lot of work and a lot of participation,” she said. “It just depends on the dedication of the group that wants to participate.”