French company SUEZ has signed a five-year partnership with South Korean company NK to develop ozone generators for ballast water treatment systems.
The two companies hope to tap into the developing ballast water market and to date have sold 400 ozone systems, after Suez invested in a manufacturing facility in Tianjin, China in 2010.
The treatment of ballast water, used to balance ships, will soon be regulated through an agreement drafted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Ratified on September 2016, new regulations will enter into force on September 8, 2017 and commit the IMO’s 52 member states to minimise the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens, by equipping their fleets with ballast water treatment systems.
It’s estimated that more than 40,000 vessels will have to be equipped by 2020.
Ballast water management is a major international ecological challenge as it can contain thousands of aquatic species (bacteria, microorganisms, algae and animal species) which represent a major threat to the marine habitat and the ocean.