ERMA FIRST Debunks 10 BWT Myths
Ten myths about Ballast Water Treatment debunked
ERMA FIRST’s International Sales Manager, Leif Erik Caspersen, during his presentation at Green4Sea Forum, which was held on Wednesday, April 22, at Eugenides Foundation.
The list of the 10 myths about ballast water treatment follows:
- Ship owners organizations will force IMO to postpone the ratification of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM). This myth was debunked, as it was clarified that this is not going to happen.
- With all the ballast water being carried around the world, it is too late to protect the environment». This was the second myth that Erma First’s International Sales Manager debunked, stressing out that every nine weeks invasive species introduce successfully in the marine environment causing even greater damage than an oil spill, situation that is not going to change unless we apply efficient measures.
- Port Authorities will not fine ship owners that will miss the deadlines for Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS) installment. It was refuted that port authorities will not impose fines, as there are no indications that this is a potential scenario when relevant regulation comes into force.
- There will be not enough suppliers of Ballast Water Treatment Systems. It was clearly noted, more than 50 makers of Ballast Water Treatment Systems have been granted IMO Basic Approval, between 35 and 40 systems have been granted IMO Final Approval, over 50 systems have been granted Type Approval by their Administration and more are under development and in various stages of the approval process.
- The Ballast Water Treatment System makers will not have capacity to supply to all vessels. The truth was restored as it was explained that nowadays more BWTS makers are entering the market, able to handle the increased demand for BWTS and supply all vessels.
- Prices of Ballast Water Treatment Systems will soon go down as more makers enter the market and the demand increases. It was stressed out that the increase of suppliers does not necessarily entail significant BWTS cost reduction. On the contrary, increased demand and regulatory pressure could cause price rise.
- Environmental factors don’t affect performance. As it was highlighted, salinity, turbidity and temperature all affect BWTS performance in one way or another.
- The ship always needs to be in dry dock for a Ballast Water Treatment System retrofit. This myth was debunked, as it was explained that retrofit is possible on voyage on the condition that all the necessary preparations have been made.
- Installing a BWT system is easy. Ship-owners often underestimate the complexity of a BWTS installation. It is much more than just buying a system and plugging it in, since for existing ships BWTS is additional equipment that had not been predicted during construction.
- It only takes a couple of months to get a Ballast Water Treatment system. Concerning the time of delivery, as it was mentioned, at the moment it ranges from six to eight months but as Ballast Water Management Convention and USCG deadlines approach, the demand drives up and the time required for delivery is likely to increase.
The presenter during his short but comprehensive presentation has shared ERMA FIRST’s opinion/knowledge on these myths.