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Could barnacles be the saviour of the shipping industry?

Could barnacles be the saviour of the shipping industry?
The combined cost of special surveys along with ballast water treatment system (BWTS) could a significant number of older vessels being sent to the scrapyard according to Maritime Strategies International (MSI).

Displaying a slide with a picture of a type of barnacle designed to be killed by ballast water treatment Adam Kent director of MSI told delegates at Marine Money Asia: “Long has the barnacle been the nemesis of the shipping industry – but we think it could be the saviour.”

With the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention coming into force on 8 September 2017 owners will have to fit vessels with BWTS at their next special survey, if they do not already have one.

With BWTS ranging from $500,000 to $2-3m, this will combine with the cost of $1-2m of the special survey, meaning that owners could be looking at spending up to $4 -5m at the time of the special survey.

This could be good news for the demand – supply balance with owners of older tonnage facing their third, fourth or fifth special survey taking the decision to scrap the vessel.

“There are some serious volumes of assets where owners are going to have to decide if they are going to make a considerable investment on an asset worth less than $10m,” Kent said.

In the case of the container sector 15% of the fleet are facing their third special survey or later, and for the tanker sector it is even higher at 20% of the fleet.

Kent noted many tanker owners would have to be taking the decision to invest or scrap very soon.