Bahrain’s NorthStar 3D Scanning simplifies ballast water treatment in ships

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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Cargo Ship
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Bahrain-based NorthStar 3D Scanning Services has successfully completed 3D scans of the interior of a major vessel, MV Aquasalwador, a bulk carrier, ahead of the installation of a ballast water treatment system in line with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

NorthStar 3D Scanning Services, an expert in 3D laser scanning and point cloud processing, has conducted similar scans for a number of vessels across the Middle East region.

Mr. Keith Bernard, Project Manager at Northstar Technologies, parent company of NorthStar 3D Scanning Services, highlighted the need for compliance with these new regulations, stating that approximately seven billion tons of ballast water is transferred from one region to another globally each year by shipping vessels that move more than 80 percent of the world’s commodities.

Ballast is a material that is used to provide stability to a ship, which is filled with fresh water or saltwater during a voyage when ships are not carrying heavy cargo. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), ballast water is “one of the major pathways for the introduction of non-indigenous marine species,” which when released to a new port-of-call introduces alien species, from small fish to microorganisms, into the water around the new area.

Mr. Bernard further added that “At any one time, ballast water can naturally contain an estimated 7,000 different species of organisms comprising planktons, bacteria and viruses.  While the vast majority of marine species carried in ballast water do not survive the ship’s journey, those that do survive are inadvertently introduced into new ecosystems through the discharge of ballast water and can cause a change in the ecosystem balance. Once such changes have occurred, the effects are irreversible.

In the wake of this ever-growing threat, the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention which was adopted in September 2017, has made it mandatory for all ships to fit a ballast water treatment system.

NorthStar 3D Scanning offers a comprehensive engineering drawing of the interior of vessels to carry out these essential modifications. The company provides the detailed measurements used in preparing the drawings.

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