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January 22, 2009

Coral Princess first ship accepted for USCG STEP program

Princess Cruises' Coral Princess, which is fitted with the Hyde Guardian ballast water treatment system (BWT), is the first ship accepted into the U.S. Coast Guard's Ship Technology Evaluation Program (STEP).

The purpose of the Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP) is to facilitate the development of effective ballast water management (BWM) technologies, through experimental systems, thus creating more options for vessel owners seeking alternatives to ballast water exchange.

The STEP Acceptance means that the Coral Princess will be allowed to discharge properly treated ballast water from the Hyde Guardian system anywhere along its route in the U.S. for the life of the ship.

Tom Dow, Vice President Public Affairs, of Carnival Corporation & PLC comments, "This is leading edge technology that deals with a serious concern in the maritime industry, protection of coastal waters from invasive species. Princess is the first cruise line to be approved and is in the lead in the cruise industry on this."

Hyde Marine began developing the technology used in the Guardian more than ten years ago and gained extensive experience while supporting biological research teams. It delivered five, first-generation treatment systems in 2000 and 2001. Hyde refined the design, improved the performance, and in 2003 delivered the HG250 system to the Coral Princess. The Guardian has operated continuously and trouble free for more than 5 years. Hyde also delivered a Guardian system to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' Celebrity Mercury in 2006 and in December 2008, delivered six Guardian systems to the Royal Navy for its new U.K. Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) program. The Hyde Guardian was selected in competition with all available BWT technologies, because it uses no chemicals or other active substances, is proven reliable, is compact, and has a fully automated design.

The Hyde Guardian meets the pending IMO ballast water management convention requirements.

The robust design includes an efficient, auto-backflushing filter that removes sediment and larger plankton, and a powerful UV disinfection system that kills or inactivates the smaller organisms and bacteria.

Hyde says that the combination of these technologies has proven both cost effective and compliant with the IMO D2 standards. Hyde Marine anticipates IMO Type Approval in early 2009 through the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) in cooperation with Lloyd's Register.

The Hyde Guardian is fully automated and can be integrated into the ship's ballast control system. The compact design can be skid mounted for new construction or modular for easy installation in crowded machinery spaces on existing vessels. The competitively priced system is the perfect ballast water management solution for cruise ships, cargo, container ships, and military vessels because of its small footprint, low energy requirement, and proven reliability.


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