News Releases 2012

New ballast water management system is safe, reduces power consumption and conserves space through the use of a special filter.
Kuraray initiates sales of MICROFADE after obtaining certificate from the Government of Japan.

June 19, 2012
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Fumio Ito) today reported that it obtained certification* from the Government of Japan on May 30, 2012 for its new ballast water management system MICROFADE (Treatment Rated Capacity: 125-4,000m³/hour). Now Kuraray announces that it will initiate sales of MICROFADE.

Sales Network

Sales and technology service shall be initiated and provided through Kashiwa Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Yoshiro Yamashita), which has a broad sales network in domestic and overseas markets.

The system, expendable supplies, and replacement parts shall be sold for dockyards and ship owners in Japan and overseas. An operational base will be established to provide supplies and replacement parts at principal overseas ports.

Sales Targets

After International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast water and Sediment becomes effective, newbuilds and existing ships will be obliged to install or retrofit ballast water management systems (BWMS).

Kuraray expects sales to peak in 2017, when it aims to achieve annual sales of ¥20-30 billion.


  • Multi-phase system sufficiently removes organisms through high-precision filtration during the front-end process, thus reducing the amount of active substances (chemical substances) used during the post process sterilization.
  • Eliminates most ballast water plankton, both small (10 to 50μm) and large (50μm and up) using a proprietary high-precision filter. Remaining plankton and bacteria are sterilized with low concentrations of active substances.

Key Features

  • (1) Reduced Power Consumption : Low power consumption during system operation helps eliminate the need for additional generators, making the system especially attractive to existing ships constrained by modification hurdles.
  • (2) Space Conservation : The system does not require the installation of any particular kind of tank, due to the utilization of solid chemical agents that can be stored at room temperature.
  • (3) Stable Capacity : The BWMS is designed for use with freshwater, brackish water and seawater. System capacity is not affected by water conditions such as quality, temperature, salinity or turbidity.
  • (4) Easy to Install : This shortens installation time, providing cost savings.

Thanks to the above features, MICROFADE flexibly is suitable for us in most of vessels, from small ship to large ships. It is designed with both newbuilds and retrofits in mind. Indeed, MICROFADE is already earning a high reputation from existing ships, where the market is exhibiting strong demand for retrofits.

Image of Installation

  • Type approval certification is based on the "Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8)," which is provided in the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediments, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2004 and provisionally referred to as the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Treaty.


Ballast Water and Related Problems

  • Ballast water, consisting of sea water that is drawn into ballast tanks in order to maintain balance on cargo ships, is often taken from a port in one country and discharged at a port in another. The resulting disruption of local ecological systems following the introduction of foreign plant and animal species contained within ballast water has become an international problem.
  • In response to this problem, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted what is officially referred to as the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediments in February 2004. This agreement is scheduled to make mandatory the installation of ballast water treatment equipment aboard ships in the near future.
  • This agreement also stipulates that discharge standards will be applied to ocean-going vessels sequentially, depending on their year of construction and ballast tank capacity. These standards are expected to be applied to all ocean-going vessels by 2017 (applicable to newbuilds starting in 2011 and existing ships in 2015).

Entry into Force and Current Status of the Ballast Water Management Treaty

The treaty shall become effective 12 months after ratification by 30 member countries of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), representing at least 35% of world merchant shipping tonnage.

Currently, 35 countries have ratified the treaty, representing 27.95% of world merchant shipping tonnage.

Overview of Kuraray Co., Ltd.

President Fumio Ito
Headquarters 1-1-3, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku ,Tokyo
Net sales ¥368.975 billion (March 31, 2012, consolidated)
Capital ¥89 billion (March 31, 2012)
Principal businesses Resins (Poval resins and films, PVB resins and films, EVOH resins and films); Chemicals (methacrylic resins, isoprene-derivative chemicals, polyamide resins, medical related products); Fibers and textiles (KURALON, man-made leathers, nonwoven fabrics, hook and loop fasteners, polyester fibers); Production and sale of other products (activated carbon, super-fine filters and systems for water treatment)

Overview of Kashiwa Co., Ltd.

President Yoshiro Yamashita
Headquarters 4-5-4 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Net sales ¥6.6 billion (May 31, 2011)
Capital ¥220 million (March 31, 2012)
Principal businesses Design and sale of marine fire fighting systems, disaster prevention equipment and others