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American Bureau of Shipping supports ballast water compliance ahead of International Maritime Organization retrofit window

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Ballast water advisory updated to assist 6 000 vessels anticipated to be retrofitting ballast water management systems each year until 2024.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has published its 2019 ‘Ballast Water Management Advisory’ providing critical advice to owners in advance of the five-year window beginning September 2019, requiring retrofits of ballast water management (BWM) systems on existing ships.

“We anticipate roughly 6,000 vessels per year over the next five years will need to be retrofitted with ballast water management systems to meet the revised International Maritime Organization (IMO) compliance dates,” said William Burroughs, ABS Ballast Water Management Lead.

“We recognize this is a large portion of the fleet and will only be achievable through proper planning and effective project management and execution. This advisory provides in-depth guidance to help owners understand the complexity of retrofitting BWM systems, supporting successful and on-time retrofits.”

Through a recent comprehensive global questionnaire of owners and operators, ABS found that 65% of BWM systems were reported as inoperable or problematic. The advisory aims to provide a practical and phased approach to guide owners and operators with retrofitting and operating BWM systems, helping avoid costly mistakes and operational disruptions.

To be compliant with the IMO’s BWM convention for existing vessels, shipowners need to install a BWM system at the vessel’s next renewal survey associated with the International Oil Pollution Prevention certificate (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, Annex I) after 8 September 2019, essentially creating a five year window for retrofits between September 2019 and September 2024, depending on when the renewal survey is due.

The Ballast Water Management Advisory covers:

  • Latest IMO & United States Coast Guard BWM regulatory updates
  • Updates on ballast water treatment technologies, practical considerations and system limitations for each
  • Practical advice to help owners identify the most suitable BWM system for each of their vessels
  • A detailed discussion of the challenges for conducting BWM system retrofits
  • The updated advisory follows the ABS ‘Best Practices for Operation of Ballast Water Management Systems Report’ published earlier this year that affords valuable insight for best practices to overcome key challenges with selecting, installing and operating a BWM system.
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For more information or to download a copy of the 2019 Best Practices for Operations of Ballast Water Management Systems Report, please click here.

Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/the-environment/09052019/american-bureau-of-shipping-supports-ballast-water-compliance-ahead-of-international-maritime-organization-retrofit-window/

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