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Published: 2017-11-23

Fotios Katsoulas, Fleet and Newbuilding Analyst/Data Manager, Affinity, on ballast water management

Fotios Katsoulas, Fleet and Newbuilding Analyst/Data Manager, Affinity, on ballast water management

Fotios Katsoulas

Originally published in HR E-Zine 2/2017 on page 13.

"There is still a lot of uncertainty across several ship-owners over which equipment to install and when, speaking of the BWM Convention coming into force on September 8th, 2017. The financial cost of installing one of the ballast water systems is rather significant, especially as asset prices are close to historical lows and earnings are under severe pressure across most commercial shipping sectors. The total amount of funds needed for ship-owners to install such system is estimated between USD 75-100 bln. The dilemma for owners of older ships, as scrapping the vessel just before their next special survey might look more attractive than carrying out the cost of installation, ranging from USD 500 thou. to USD 3 mln, depending on the size of the vessel. Several ships have applied for extensions from the US Coast Guard (USCG) for meeting rules on discharging treated ballast, as it has signalled stricter enforcement on the issue and ship-owners face challenges installing USCG-approved BWT systems. But the availability of three systems creates a bigger hurdle for shipowners to get extensions for complying with US ballast water rules. The USCG considers extensions for each ship individually, rather than issuing blanket extensions covering multiple ships. This equals more detail on a BWT systems product’s suitability for each individual ship in a fleet. For tankers, most vessels with surveys due after September 2017 are aged less than 15 years, but installations would mean even short-term supply reductions."
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