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Live from SMM Hamburg

BWTS manufacturers poised to benefit after BWM convention is ratified

BWTS manufacturers poised to benefit after BWM convention is ratified
Business opportunities are looking up for ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) manufacturers on news of the ratification of IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) convention, and demand will start picking up albeit at a cautious pace.

While there is still a 12-month period before the enforcement of the BWM regulation, the time gap would not reduce the sense of urgency among owners to start planning for the procurement and installation of BWTS, according to Don Stephen, vice president product management at De Nora Water Technologies, US-based manufacturer of BWTS.

“The ratification is very good news. Certainly the demand for the systems is going to increase and shipyard capacity need to increase,” Stephen told Seatrade Maritime News at SMM 2016 in Hamburg, Germany on Thursday.

“Owners who have not done anything so far would need to start making investments within the next six months,” he believed.

South Korea’s BWTS manufacturer Techcross is anticipating a more significant pick up in sales from 2018, after the enforcement date if IMO does decide to proceed.

“We see no sudden rise in orders for installation after ratification but rather demand will increase from 2018. This is because we have to consider the current financial situation of the owners as BWTS installations are big investments for them, and shipowners’ association would be calling for exemptions or delays,” said Lee JW, sales division, team 3/director at Techcross.

“However, we expect the future five year period between 2018 to 2022 to be extremely busy and hectic for everyone [BWTS manufacturers],” Lee said.

De Nora’s Stephen said his company’s sales are expected to ramp up considerably in line with drydocking dates, scheduled to peak around 2020. De Nora is looking to target the larger end of the market such as oil tankers, LNG carriers, large bulkers and containerships.

Both De Nora and Techcross are also chasing the ‘elusive’ USCG type-approval, where until today no BWTS manufacturers have gotten the approval. “We are halfway through our landbased testing – all are successful – and looking for an approval in spring next year,” Stephen said.

Lee is hoping for Techcross to achieve the USCG type-approval by mid-2017.

The BWM convention met its ratification criteria on 8 September 2016, having finally pushed the scales past the 35% of the world’s fleet by gross tonnage after Finland’s ratification.