Ballast Water Treatment

Ballast Water Treatment - What's next?

The Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) entered into force on 8 September 2017. This means that an estimated 34,000 ships above 400 gross register tonnes (GRT) will be required to install a type-approved ballast water treatment system at their next mandatory International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) survey to protect local ecosystems around the world.

Wärtsilä BWMS Newsletter
Why is there a Ballast Water Convention?
How does it affect my business?
What are the technologies available? etc.

Rules and regulations for Ballast Water Management Systems

The BWMC requires the installation of a ballast water management system (BWMS). The system must be type approved in accordance with convention guidelines and conform to the Regulation D2 discharge performance standard. The G8 Guidelines describe the methodology a Ballast Water Management System should follow to obtain its statutory type approval either from an administration or an accredited and recognized organization.
    MEPC decisions, July 2017
    At IMO MEPC 71 it was agreed to alter the implementation schedule for ships to meet the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, 2004 (BWMC).  The Changes are seen to be a more practical way for ship owners to meet the convention timescales.  This is not a blanket two year delay but a phased compliance time line to allow smoother transition for owners, operators and managers.  Key points of the meeting are summaries below:
    • The BWMC entered into force 8th September 2017, no delay.
    • All ships are required to have a Ballast Water Management Plan, and be compliant with either exchange Regulation D-1 or treatment Regulation D-2.
    • New Ships - shall conduct ballast water management that at least meets the D-2 performance discharge standard on delivery of the vessel.
    • Existing ships - the date for compliance with the D-2 standard remains in line with the renewal survey of the ship associated with the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate.

    For existing ships this would be the first or second five-year renewal survey after 8 September 2017:

    • By the first renewal survey: this applies when that the first renewal survey of the ship takes place on or after 8 September 2019 or a renewal survey has been completed on or after 8 September 2014 but prior to 8 September 2017. 
    • By the second renewal survey: this applies if the first renewal survey after 8 September 2017 takes place before 8 September 2019. In this case, compliance must be by the second renewal survey (provided that the previous renewal survey has not been completed in the period between 8 September 2014 and 8 September 2017). 
    • An existing ship to which the IOPP renewal survey under MARPOL Annex I does not apply shall meet the D-2 standard from the date decided by the Administration, but not later than 8 September 2024.
    • Draft amendment to be adopted at MEPC 72 to be held during April 2018.
    • Current Status 65 Countries representing 73.92% of world merchant shipping.
    • Approved a circular on Application of the BWM Convention to ships operating in sea areas where ballast water exchange in accordance with regulations B-4.1 and D-1 is not possible;

    For more information please visit the IMO Website.

    Revised Guidelines (G8), examples

    The revised guidelines require among other things:

    • Land-based testing in all three salinity conditions, i.e. fresh, brackish and seawater conditions;
    • The IMO retains the principle for a 5-day hold time for land-based testing. Limitations on the minimum holding time can be proposed by manufacturers and demonstrated during testing;
    • System Design Limitations (SDL). Systems will have any identified SDL’s stipulated in the IMO Type Approval certificate. This may relate to salinity, temperatures and/or to retention time and depend on technology;

    Systems must now also demonstrate compliance over a temperature range. Such testing does not need to be based on land or shipboard testing, but can be a bench scale evaluation.

    BWMS approval procedures

    The approval procedures for ballast water management systems (BWMS) comprise among others:

    • more robust test and performance specifications;
    • more detailed requirements for type-approval reporting and control and monitoring equipment;

    type-approval process expansion, with detailed requirements for land-based, shipboard, and other tests.


    What should you do?

    Whether you are a ship owner with a large or small fleet, big or small yard or an engineering company/designer in the marine industry, it is advantageous to start planning well ahead. We work with you from the very first enquiry, right through to the successful delivery and installation of the system. Our simple six-step solution will guide you in your planning to meet legislation and reduce your impact on the marine environment.

    Not just any technology

    The Wärtsilä Aquarius® Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) range comprises two product series specifically developed to meet the global ballast water discharge regulatory obligations. Both technical solutions, one based on filter UV and the other on filter side stream electro-chlorination (EC), have achieved IMO type-approval status and have been AMS accepted by the USCG.

    Both BWMS technologies are currently undergoing full USCG Testing programs in line with the regulations, with published timescales to complete during 2017. For more specific information on the testing completed to date, please contact the team below. 

      We don’t only have the right technology, we are thought leaders."

      What do our customers think?

      Ensuring compliance for tankers

      Ensuring compliance with the upcoming IMO Ballast Water Management Convention is becoming a priority for ship owners. Maersk Tankers A/S of Denmark has selected Wärtsilä’s Electro Chlorination (EC) Ballast Water Management System for three new 50,000 DWT medium range tankers. Read the whole press release.

      Wärtsilä is a credible partner

      A series of container vessels owned by Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co. KG, based in Germany, are to be retrofitted with Wärtsilä Aquarius Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS). According to Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co, Wärtsilä is a credible partner with the required capabilities and resources for this sizeable project. Read the whole press release.

      Sounds interesting? Contact us

      Craig Patrick
      Michelle Guy
      Chris Matthews
      Christopher Matthews

      Please fill in the form, we aim to respond within 1-2 business days depending on the enquiry. For an existing installation, provide all necessary details to identify the installation and the equipment. Fields indicated with an asterisk (*) are required. 

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