Chaos brewing in ballast water
The 15-year interval between the conception and entry into force of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention left abundant opportunity for invasive organisms to do their nasty work, and despite the sector’s reputation for inertia, some shipowners grew tired of waiting. At the time, they were warned that early adopters of ballast water management (BWM) systems would suffer, having to spend more money to replace their ‘stranded assets’ in a few years’ time.
Unfortunately for various shipowners, that appears to be exactly what has happened. From around 120 systems which initially gained IMO G8 Type-Approval, more than half have turned out to be insufficient in US Coastguard (USCG) tests.
“In a couple of cases we have physically taken off a competitor’s system,” said EVP of sales at Norway’s Optimarin, Tore Andersen recently. “This is very costly for the [shipowner] that has to do it.”