LONDON: “Invasive aquatic species discharged through the ballast water of ships and their impact on the environment has been an issue for the marine industry for more than a century. After a couple of decades of intense campaigning and negotiations by a host of stakeholders, in February 2004 the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was able to adopt the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments – also referred to as the Ballast Water Management – BWM Convention. A key requirement of the BWM Convention has been for ships that use the international waters to deploy a ballast water treatment system that is certified to the norms and standards of the IMO, issued for the verification and standardisation of ballast water treatment systems globally. Currently, there are close to 60 approved systems that can be considered by ship-owners for installation onboard their vessels.”
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“For the convention to enter into force and become legally binding, it needed ratification by 30 states that account for 35% of the world merchant shipping tonnage. Finland has been the latest country to ratify the convention, taking the total number of states to 52 and the combined tonnage of the signatory states to 35.1441%. With both the criteria being met, the BWM Convention will now enter into force on 8 September 2017.
In Frost & Sullivan’s first analysis of the market prospects of March 2010, there were less than 10 type approved systems – this number has now multiplied to 60 systems. Our previous update of the market in 2013 estimated it to be worth about $0.5 billion with a base year growth of around 60% and a CAGR of 21% for the period 2013-2023. At the time, the market was largely driven by the new-build market and lacking the much needed driving force of the ratified IMO BWM Convention.
With the convention finally ratified, this now comes as a much needed relief for many companies that have invested in developing and securing certification of their treatment systems. However, there are still a few complications ahead given the US Coast Guard regulations for ballast water treatment and the need for an additional certification for ballast water treatment systems to USCG standard if the ships are entering US waters. The Alternate Manage Systems (AMS) is a temporary measure that system suppliers have secured for a period of 5 years. However, for ship owners the dilemma lies in the fact that they will need to replace the system at the end of the 5 year period if their system supplier has not secured certification with USCG standards.
In the overall context of the Global Ballast Water Treatment Market, it is certainly a milestone momentwith the ratification of the IMO BWM Convention, providing a much needed boost and certainty in the market. There is a lot to do for the various stakeholders before the market can achieve a degree of normalcy. However, given that more than 60,000 ships need to be retrofitted with ballast water treatment systems with a relatively small number and capacity of suppliers, the next few years will witness about$50 billion in cumulative spending of ballast water treatment systems.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Navyug Sandesh Group and is published from a syndicated feed.)