MEA-nl’s test activities for ballast water Type Approval (TA) testing usually takes place from April to November. This is because of the natural variation of conditions in the three waters that MEA has in its nigh environment: the salty (or saline) North Sea, the brackish Wadden Sea and fresh water Lake IJssel. During the autumn and winter months, our mobile test facility ‘The MEA Innovator’ was converted to face the challenges of the new test season. The many forthcoming test projects involve both ETV (for US regulations) and IMO testing.

The rebuilding and conversion project involved several aspects. Several ballast tanks were enlarged to comply with the current regulations as well as special demands from clients. Pumps and generator sets were overhauled and all sensors recalibrated to ensure proper and reliable operations for the future. The MEA Innovator also needed dry docking to prolong its seaworthiness and certificates.

Prevailing winds in the ballast water market

Testing for Type Approval (TA) is currently still a significant part of MEA-nl’s portfolio. However, a change in focus to other ballast water market segments can be observed. More and more ship owners are in need of detailed advice to fulfil global and United States regulations, such as the Vessel General Permit. Due to the entry into force of the Ballast Water Convention (BWC), obligatory installation of ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) for every seagoing vessel is approaching. Consequently, commissioning after on-board installation will be a growing demand from ship owners.
Another market development is an evolution of ballast water treatment systems (BWTS). The first ‘generations’ of BWTS that were launched the years after the BWC are in need of certificate renewal, and new approaches – such as in-tank treatment systems – are entering the market. MEA-nl will be executing TA projects for at least four ballast water treatment manufacturers in parallel.