Owners must do their homework before choosing a BWTS - Marshall

Oct 06 2017

There are many ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) fitted on large vessels that are not fit for purpose, Andrew Marshall, Coldharbour CEO said, quoting an ABS report and other sources.

He said that there was much misinformation in the BWTS market, but also stressed that some of the UV and electrochlorination manufacturers had good equipment. 
Owners face the perfect storm of delays, disruptions, additional costs, significant losses, large fines and loss of reputation and will have no recourse to BWTS suppliers or shipyards, he warned. 
In addition, P&I clubs have said that they will not cover any losses incurred, as a result of improper BWTS selection by their owner members. 
Marshall warned owners to take care when selecting a suitable, fit for purpose BWTS, taking into account the typical operating parameters of their vessels. “Owners must do their homework,” he said.  
“Selection based simply on price, type approval certification and hope will almost certainly guarantee failure.”
He said that the bottom line was that a bad ballasting operation, inexperienced crew and faulty equipment could lead to a failed Port State Control inspection resulting in fines of up to $100,000. 
In the light of the recent failure of OceanSaver, he said there would likely be around 15 companies left out of the many currently offering equipment. 
As for Coldharbour, he said that the company’s unique BWTS was only suitable for about 15% of the tonnage operating today, as it was aimed at the larger tonnage of around Aframax size and above. The company’s BWTS is designed as an ‘in tank’ system using inert gas, which is a system familiar to tanker crews. 
He explained that the company wouldn’t see a return on investment for around five years but stressed that the investors were happy. He also said that the Nottinghamshire, UK, facility was geared up to produce around 50 systems per year, either for the newbuilding or retrofit markets.
In another move, the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Center (MSC) has received its seventh application for Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) type approval.
This came from the Purimar BWMS manufactured by Samsung Heavy Industries.
The MSC said that it will review the application for compliance with USCG regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Once it has been determined that the application meets the requirements, the MSC will issue a type approval certificate.
Tanker Operator will be highlight ballast water management in the November issue.  

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