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New ballast water compliance requirements enter force this week

Phtoto: Optimarin Optimarin BW system (002).jpg
From Wednesday of this week, ballast water management systems will have to meet IMO Ballast Water Convention type approval requirements, rather than the existing G8 and revised G8 guidelines, as well as US Coast Guard type approval regulations.

However, there is some uncertainty relating to dates and deadlines, according to Martin Oloffson, a DNV GL principal engineer, who addressed an Immediasea online seminar last week.

The uncertainties highlighted by Oloffson include what happens to systems ordered, and possibly delivered to a repair yard, but not yet installed, perhaps because scheduled dockings have been delayed.

There is also doubt over whether systems approved and installed on some vessels, but not yet on sister ships, will have to comply with the new requirements. A further issue relates to systems already installed on ships, but not yet in operation.

According to DNV GL, there will be a spike in demand for systems between January and September 2022. The classification society estimates that about 2,000 vessels under its own class will require installations over these months, but altogether, as many as 10,000 new systems may be required.

Jurrien Baretta, technical sales manager at Optimarin, a Norwegian ballast water system company, stressed the importance of diligent preparation, particularly in the run-up to this busy installation period. Although there have been concerns in the past about ship repair capacity, most ballast water system installations are undertaken during a routine docking. The preparation, however, is essential, she said, to ensure that system installations can be completed efficiently within the ship’s scheduled docking period.   

 

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