Press Release


Press Release

January 12, 2010

MOL Develops World's 1st Portable Liquid-Level Gauge for Ballast Tanks

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that MOL and Musashino Co., Ltd. have jointly developed the world's first portable liquid-level gauge for vessel ballast tanks. The gauge measures the level of ballast water (seawater) in a tank by dropping a portable measuring tube into the sounding tube of the ballast tank. A sensor detects air pressure changes in the tube and quickly measures the ballast water level.

Conventional measurement using a sounding tape is complex and time-consuming, requiring several crew members. Use of this new liquid-level gauge makes it quick and easy to check the levels of many ballast tanks, improving efficiency and enhancing the safety of loading/discharging operations.


Vessels add seawater to their ballast tanks when discharging cargo, and pump it out when loading cargo. This helps to control the balance of the hull and ensure its stability. To prevent air from entering the ballast pump during the final stages of discharging ballast water, it is essential to measure the level of ballast water remaining in the tank.

Characteristics of liquid-level gauge

  • Seafarers can easily carry the gauge's main unit thanks to its compact size (35cmW x 33cmH x 23cmD) and light weight (about 5kg).
  • It takes only 10 to 15 seconds to measure the liquid level in each ballast tank.
  • It is compatible with most vessels because the gauge uses the vessel's air compressor system. The gauge's main unit can be connected with the air hose with a one-touch system.
  • The pressure sensor automatically adjusts for changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure.
  • A 9V battery is used for power source of the main unit. Measurements are displayed in digital format. It also has an auto-off function to maximize battery life.

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