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The Practical Realities of Ballast Water Treatment Systems

By MarEx 2011-05-23 13:16:20

ABS announces the release of its updated Ballast Water Treatment Advisory to assist industry in understanding and addressing the evolving regulatory regime of ballast water treatment (BWT). This latest publication in ABS’ Advisory series provides practical guidance to shipowners, operators and builders as they make important investment decisions concerning the best-suited technology to use in their operations.

“The industry is in a ‘wait and see’ mode when it comes to ballast water management,” explains Kirsi Tikka, Vice President of Global Technology and Business Development. “Until the proposed international, regional and local regulations are ratified and/or finalized, there is a great deal of uncertainty among ship operators as to how they should proceed with their system selections. The initial Advisory published last year was so well received by the industry we felt it was time for an update to reflect the current state of regulations and available systems.”

The advisory summarizes the practical realities of shipboard BWT systems to assist operators in their evaluation of treatment technology options. Included are discussions of the key features of ships’ ballast water handling systems and treatment technologies that may have an important impact on the ship, crew ballast practices and operating costs.

“Ballast water exchange presents significant operational concerns and challenges and it may not provide a totally effective solution to reduce the spread of unwanted aquatic organisms and pathogens from ships’ ballast water,” says Tikka.  “Ballast water treatment is considered by many to be a necessary measure to meet the proposed standards.”

The 56-page Advisory is divided into key sections covering regulatory developments, an overview of treatment technologies, considerations for systems selection, installation and operation, evaluation checklists and available systems.  The evaluation checklists include details such as vessel ballast system particulars, ship and service characteristics that impact BWT selection, treatment technology factors, general treatment system considerations, and challenges for installation engineering. It contains checklists for both owners and vendors.

Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.