STX Heavy Industries announced on October 14 that it recently obtained type approval for its Smart Ballast, an electrolysis type of Ballast Water Management System (BWMS), from Korea’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
With the mass production and sale of its Smart Ballast becoming possible, the company will be able to make full-scale expansion into the BWMS market, valued at 80 trillion won (US$75 billion), for the next 10 years.
BWMS is a system that disinfects sea water put into the tank of a ship in order to maintain stability and control the slope when loading and unloading cargo. It sterilizes marine microorganisms to prevent their movement to other areas and the subsequent destruction of the ecosystem in the region. And it is regarded as a requirement for next-generation eco-friendly vessels.
At the International Ballast Water Management Conference 2013 scheduled to be held in November, the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention will be discussed. It is expected that the Convention will enter into force in a couple of years. According to the Convention, about 68,000 ships operating in the world must install BWMS by 2021.
Smart Ballast disinfects sea water using chlorine oxide-caused electrolysis. Since harmful substances arising from disinfection are very few, its impact on the marine environment is minimal. It consumes less electricity than competitors’ products, indicating that it is energy efficient. On top of that, the system is easy to install, and incurs low maintenance costs since supplies are hardly needed.