Operational problems continue with Ballast Water Treatment Systems: ABS

Early adopters of ballast water treatment systems continue to experience operational problems, delegates heard at the gmec (global marine environmental congress) organised by SMM in co-operation with Seatrade in Hamburg this week.

Stamatis Fradelos, director business development at ABS, provided provisional figures from the class society’ 2018 survey of owners’ operational experiences with BWTS, updating a similar survey carried out in 2017.

This year’s survey results to date include responses from 37 European owners representing 261 installations – with the survey ongoing in Asia and the US – compared to last year’s 27 owners worldwide representing 220 installations.

While only 5% of systems were deemed inoperable (compared to 15% in 2017), a massive 44% nevertheless reported ‘problematic operations’.

Seatrade Maritime News is reporting live from SMM 2018

Debra DiCianna, senior compliance engineer with Choice Ballast Solutions, advised that operators should look carefully at the exact specification of systems that had received type approval, pointing out that the current run on BWTS systems meant that components in short supply were often being replaced with “non-marine-grade” substitutes, a cause of some of the problems.

A ship’s operating profile was also a vital consideration in choosing what system to select, she added, with no one-size-fits-all solution when it came to BWTS

Meanwhile, a total of 10 ballast water treatment systems have now received US Coast Guard type approval, USCG Commandant Capt. Sean T. Brady informed, with Wärtsilä’s Aquarius EC BWMS (ballast water management system) the latest addition to the list.

Posted 05 September 2018
Bob Jaques

Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review

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