LR will work in the type approval tests with Marine Eco Analytics (MEA), a test laboratory in the Netherlands. Revised and more comprehensive G8 tests agreed by the IMO’s MEPC at its 70th meeting in November 2016 will be undertaken at the same time.

Coldharbour Chief Executive Andrew Marshall informed that until recently, there had been no test laboratory suitably configured and accredited to carry out effective testing of the company’s in-tank ballast water treatment system, as opposed to other manufacturers’ in-line treatment products.

Mr Marshall said that MEA had originally been identified as a facility of choice because its location provides a ready supply of sea water from the North Sea and brackish water from the Wadden Sea. This, he said, guaranteed that tests would cover all types of water which ships could encounter.

A second key reason for choosing MEA was that the facility carries out its tests using natural water collected by barges, meaning that samples contain natural fauna and flora rather than seeded or farmed organisms which often have different survivability characteristics.

“There’s no point doing these tests if the results could later prove unreliable,” Marshall said. “We believe we have a first-class in-voyage treatment technology for large ships which ensures that the ballast water discharge standard can always be met.”

The process will not begin until around next April when the correct number of naturally occurring marine organisms – 100,000 per tonne of water – are found in the waters of the Wadden Sea and North Sea. The season during which organism blooms contain sufficient zooplankton and phytoplankton extends from about April to September each year. Mr Marshall believes that the full range of land tests required in the USCG type approval process is likely to take approximately five months.