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MHI to Establish Dedicated Unit In Existing Vessels

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Tokyo, March 31, 2011 - Effective April 1, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will establish a structure to deal integrally with installations of ballast water treatment systems, as well as necessary ship modifications, in vessels already in service. The company will create a new unit, to be located at the Yokohama Dockyard of its Shipbuilding and Ocean Development Headquarters, dedicated to comprehensive planning of all work from design and engineering to system installation. In establishing the new unit MHI's aim is to provide customers with enhanced convenience in consultation on related matters and speedy response to customer need as it prepares for full implementation of the ballast water management (BWM) convention* by 2017. Leveraging its abundant knowhow accumulated through both construction of new vessels and vessel modifications, MHI is looking to further enhance its services for vessels already in service.

The new "Ballast Water Treatment Project Team" will initially consist of six members, including design engineers and experts in ballast treatment systems, system deployment and piping, and specialists in engineering work and production, as well as sales staff. MHI will also mull progressively increasing the team members as requirements may necessitate. Upon request the team will also fully accommodate the needs of ships built by other companies, with services to include provision of detailed planning in the selection of a treatment system and related equipment, as well as various engineering work including installation and associated modifications.

At present, the installation of a ballast water treatment system on an existing ship generally takes about one year to complete - from selection and procurement of the desired system, to system design, completion of modifications and installation. As a result, it is increasingly necessary to install such ballast water treatment systems during periodical maintenance, especially in the case of major shipping companies. MHI has already received an order for system installation/modification under this scheme and it is currently responding to several inquiries.

The BWM convention is an international agreement that will require both new and existing ships to install a ballast water treatment system to purify ballast water prior to its discharge from the ship. Ballast water consists of seawater taken into and discharged from dedicated water tanks to provide stability and adjust the ship's trim as desired. Although several years will pass before the convention takes effect, many ships are expected to be subject to its regulations. In addition, some shipbuilders have announced intent to concentrate exclusively on the construction of new ships and will no longer handle either ship modifications or installations of ballast water treatment systems on existing ships, even those they built earlier. Against this backdrop, preparation for the convention's implementation has become a major issue in both the shipbuilding and shipping industries.

MHI undertakes new shipbuilding at its three shipyards in Nagasaki, Kobe and Shimonoseki; repairs and modification work are performed at these three shipyards and its Yokohama Dockyard. Through the activities of its newly established project team, the company looks to integrate the entire breadth of its knowhow and experience relating to ballast water treatment system installations. Going forward MHI intends to aggressively promote expansion of its ship modification business, while simultaneously further enhancing the level of its services extended for previously delivered ships.

Note: The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) was adopted at the assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that took place in February 2004.

Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries