A Linby firm which manufactures technical equipment for maritime customers has won a prestigious award for tackling a threat to human safety and the environment.
The award, announced last Thursday during the annual Marine Propulsion Conference in London, recognised the innovative approach Coldharbour Marine took to solving problems associated with shipping large volumes of ballast water around the world.
Ecologists have discovered that ballast water, used to keep ships balanced for over 100 years, contains marine organism and bacteria which pose a hazard to human health and disrupt sensitive marine ecosystems by alien aquatic species.
The firm developed a patented system to treat large volumes of ballast water whilst tankers journey between ports.
Coldharbour chief executive Andrew Marshall said: “This award is a testament to five years of thought, debate, problem solving and testing- frankly a recognition of the engineering excellence of the Coldharbour team.
“The introduction of the IMO Ballast Water Management Regulations encouraged us to start a major recruitment drive. We are expanding our business in the East Midlands and attracting expert engineers and scientists to our team. Our attitude to innovation has not stopped and we have other exciting projects in the pipeline.
“I hope this award is the first of many.”
Potential problems associated with ballast water range from epidemics of Cholera, outbreaks of red-green algae which clog previously clean waterways and the explosive growth of zebra muscles transferred and then released into previously clean environments.
The problem has been identified as one of the top three threats to the world’s oceans and in 2004 the United Nations International Maritime Organization took action to address the situation.