Global ship repair, conversion and marine specialist A&P Group has urged ship owners to act quickly if they are to comply with the newly ratified IMO Ballast Water Convention.
Vessels in excess of 400GRT which dock for routine maintenance from 8th September 2017 onwards will have to have a type approved ballast waste management systems installed.
Ballast water is the water carried in ships’ ballast tanks to improve stability and it is taken in and discharged when the cargo is loaded and unloaded. This water contains bacteria and organisms and the convention’s intention to protect the marine environment from the harmful organisms that ballast water can contain.
Ash Sinha, Group Business Development Director for A&P Group said: “Until a few years ago there were less than 200 vessels with ballast waste management installed in the world. Now that the ruling has been made, many ships will need to seek ballast waste management systems help if they are to comply in time and it spells the start of a busy time for yards like ours. “
A&P Group has installed ballast water treatment systems on 12 vessels over the last four years, including the recent installation on the RFA Cardigan Bay, as part of its contract to maintain and provide global support for the Through Life Cluster Contract of four frontline RFA vessels.
Ash added: “Most ship owners have been waiting to decide but this news now requires action to be taken. While installation takes only a few days, it is the initial feasibility and ship’s integration design of the system and the manufacturer’s lead-time that takes the most time, sometimes up to 10 or 11 months. We’re urging ship owners to get in touch quickly so that we can start considering their needs now.”
A&P Group has also warned that there may be some vessels which, although having already installed ballast water treatment systems, will still fall foul of the new rulings due to confusion whether the standards set out by the International Maritime Organisation’s will satisfy the United States Coast Guard and vice versa. A&P also expects a glut of vessels to come in early for their five year dry-dock, in order to avoid the need for ballast water treatment systems and to buy themselves longer before complying.
Ash concluded: “It seems that some of the ship owners that were quick to prepare for the ruling and who installed the systems early, may still not meet the new regulations. We have a team on hand to give specialist advice and guidance to those ship owners who are concerned.”
A&P Group’s experience in this field has been further marked with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with global firm GEA at SMM Hamburg last month, for the promotion of its new ballast water treatment system GEA BallastMaster marine. Ship owners with specific concerns are urged to contact A&P Group on +44 (0)845 274 7687