Choice Ballast Solutions senior compliance engineer Debra DiCianna and Glostens director of research & development Kevin J. Reynolds discuss the alternatives to ship-board ballast water treatment systems
In a Riviera Maritime Media webinar titled Alternatives to ship-board ballast water treatment systems, Choice Ballast Solutions senior compliance engineer Debra DiCianna noted two broad themes in contemporary BWMS: the alternatives to complying with regulations without having a BWTS onboard; and the options available if the onboard system fails.
Alternatives to an onboard system in the US include using municipal fresh water and/or municipal waste-water treatment. This is largely theoretical: “There are no onshore treatment facilities in the US,” said Ms DiCianna. Other alternatives include mobile systems such as Damen InvaSave and Glostens oneTank, which is current under development.
Damen InvaSave is not USCG type-approved, but according to the webinar participants it does not have to be. Once the ballast water leaves the ship, it becomes classed as waste-water and subject to the local port and jurisdiction rules.
Glostens director of research and development Kevin J. Reynolds has been at the forefront of developing the oneTank system. The mobile system has been tested on several vessels in the US.
During the webinar Mr Reynolds was asked if liability shifts from vessel to oneTank? He replied that oneTank is used on the ship under control of the Master and the ship remains liable.
On the topic of BWMS failures, Ms DiCianna said: “We have to look at alternatives because problems will occur. The Ballast Water Management Plan should have a contingency plan. Why? Because when the ballast water system fails to work, it is one of the first things the US Coast Guard will ask to see.”
When polled regarding a ballast water contingency plan, over half the respondents either did not know if they had a plan or did not have a plan in place.
Attendee poll: Does your Ballast Water Management Plan include a section on Contingency Measures?
As Capital Ship Management director of newbuildings Nicholas Vaporis said in a Riviera webinar Navigating the BWMS system selection maze, a BWMS failure is a 24/7 operational issue. During a poll on the issue, attendees were asked: Do you know of a vessel with an installed BWMS that experienced problems that required “alternative” treatment? 29% answered yes and 71% said no.
Ms DiCianna noted: “The alternatives to treatment are limited and the important thing to focus on is having a contingency plan. A contingency plan can be amended to a Ballast Water Management plan. As it is not a requirement in the Convention it does not require approval. We (Choice Ballast Solutions) have provided contingency plans for many ships.”
Mr Reynolds concluded: “You have to provide the spare parts and training for the crew to handle a contingency. I hope everyone now has a clear idea: contingency is something that is unplanned, alternative is something you plan for because it is the right fit for you.”