Oil producer Saudi Aramco has selected Chelsea Technologies Group (CTG), designer and manufacturer of sensors for the maritime sector, to provide benchmark testing for compliance with ballast water standards. This follows Saudi Aramco’s announcement that all ships calling at its ports and terminals will be required to provide ballast water samples, in order to demonstrate compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention).
CTG’s FastBallast portable ballast water analyzer has been chosen by Saudi Aramco and will be deployed as a benchmark testing device to conduct spot checks on indicative sampling undertaken by third-party sampling companies. FastBallast was selected following a detailed technical review conducted by Saudi Aramco’s in-house marine biology experts.
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 in-house experts on the 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 utilize FastBallast as the national benchmark for indicative ballast water sampling.
Dr. Brian Phillips, Managing Director of Chelsea Technologies, commented, “It is testament 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. Together with GSA, our sole agent in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, we look 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. We are proud of the role that FastBallast will play in creating the national benchmark for ballast water sampling and, in doing so, helping to protect Saudi Arabia’s marine environment.”
Saudi Aramco ports and terminals are considered the highest receiver of ballast water from ships, with over 180 million tons of ballast water discharged during cargo operations every year.
Saudi Arabia ratified IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention during April 2017, through a Royal Decree signed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, activating the adoption of a national ballast water management strategy, which includes indicative sampling of ballast water.
Global Strategic Alliance Saudi Arabia (GSA), Chelsea Technologies’ sole agent in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, was invited by Saudi Aramco to participate in a workshop held in Saudi Aramco headquarters in Dhahran on 26th July 2017. The workshop was held to facilitate the launch of ballast water indicative sampling at all Saudi Aramco ports and terminals and was attended by GSA’s CEO, Adnan Bahamdein, and GSA’s Operations Director, Ramachandran Kumar.
GSA is also working closely with Chelsea Technologies to make its FastBallast onboard indicative ballast sampling devices available to ship owners and operators throughout Saudi Arabia and other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.