Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's biggest shipbuilder, received final test approval from the Korean government for eco-friendly electrolysis HiBallast System on November 27, 2011.
Ballast water is seawater used to stabilize the ship when loading/unloading cargo and to maintain optimal vessel speed. The seawater can contain bacteria, local plankton, mud, and sand from the unloading port where the ballast water has been taken in. As the ballast water is released, it can have an impact on the marine ecosystem.
HiBallast system can treat seawater by filtering and sterilizing bacteria and plankton bigger than 50 µm through electrolysis. The HiBallast system can sterilize 8,000 cbm of seawater per hour, reduce power consumption, and extend the life of the ballast.
The new HiBallast system is the second ballast treatment system Hyundai Heavy has developed. The EcoBallast system received final test approval in March. It sterilizes seawater using ultraviolet rays instead of electrolysis. Hyundai Heavy has already received orders for HiBallast and EcoBallast system to be installed 30 ships.
The International Maritime Organization has mandated that all new ships to be delivered from 2012 must have an approved ballast water treatment system installed. Driven by international regulations, the market for ballast water treatment systems is expected to grow to over USD 13 billion by 2016.