Commissioning testing of ballast water management systems (BWMS) is not yet compulsory but even the most carefully selected BWMS can fail to meet D-2 requirements if there is a breakdown in communication in the installation phase, attendees of the ’Navigating the BWMS system selection maze’ webinar heard
The webinar was the second in Riviera Maritime Media’s Ballast Water Webinar Week, part of our ongoing multi-week series of webinars.
Planning and communication are essential to ensure the BWMS performs as per its certification as SGS regional manager Guillaume Drillet told attendees, noting 21% of the BWMS it tested at the commissioning stage failed the test.
“In some cases, there are more organisms in the outflow ballast water than the inflow,” he said, due to a failure to clean the ballast water tanks before installation. Further details on SGS’ commission testing and the results are available in the whitepaper Commissioning Testing of Ballast Water Management Systems.
The example of a simple omission of cleaning prior to testing highlights how crucial the planning stage is to a successful installation. Installing a ballast water treatment system is a vessel lifecycle decision and one that demands long-term planning from purchasing through to the final days in the shipyard.
As EnviroManagement vice president Marcie Merksamer said, “It is preferable to have at least two eight-hour days allocated to training the crew in the operation and maintenance of the BWMS.”
As noted in the ’What revised G8 requirements mean for the owner/operator’ ballast water webinar, the Covid-19 coronavirus has strained the BWMS supply chain and some BWMS might not achieve revised G8 status in time for the 28 October 2020 deadline.
In a poll asking, ’Would you take advantage of extensions for BWMS installation/compliance dates if IMO were to offer?’, 90% of webinar attendees agreed that they would take the extensions, and one-third felt the extension should be between 6 to 12 months. Somewhat surprisingly, a second poll revealed that more than a third of those attending the webinar were not aware the US Coast Guard has offered extensions on compliance dates.
Ecochlor vice president of business development Andrew Marshall noted that the requirement to visit the ship twice a year to replenish active substances for the Ecochlor system was an opportunity to provide additional training and updates to the crew.
From an owner and operator point of view, Capital Ship Management director of newbuildings Nikolas Vaporis commented that the major requirement for a BWMS is to have a full-service after-sales operation available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“A BWMS failure is a 24/7 operation. It is not enough to receive an email six or seven hours later,” he said.
Filters play a crucial role in many ballast water treatment systems and Filtersafe vice president ballast water division Nier Israeli-Spielberg was on hand to answer technical questions. One question was “How is pressure loss minimised?”
“There are several options,” said Mr Israeli-Spielberg, “The most common is throttling the outlet. This increases the inlet pressure, but mitigates the outlet flow, too. One consequence could be a longer ballasting process. Other alternatives are introducing more boosting capacity or replacing the pump. The filter is a pressure differential product and we (Filtersafe) are very efficient in that respect.”
You can view the webinar, in full, in our webinar library.
And you can sign up to attend upcoming webinars on our events page.
Top left: Capital Ship Management director of newbuildings Nikolas Vaporis. Top centre: SGS regional manager Guillaume Drillet. Top right: EnviroManagement vice president Marcie Merksamer. Bottom right: Ecochlor vice president of business development Andrew Marshall. Bottom centre: Filtersafe vice president ballast water division Nier Israeli-Spielberg