MARCH 20, 2014 — Praveen Kumar Mishra, Vice President of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has suggested an innovative solution to the ballast water treatment problem: the BWT Boat.
Shipowners continue to face major challenges with the impending ratification of IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), which continues to edge towards its required ratification numbers.
Mr. Mishra estimates that around 74,400 vessels will be affected by the convention and that, so far, no more than 5% of vessels, or around 4,000, have been fitted with ballast water treatment systems (BWTS).In addition to the challenges presented by the number of ships affected and the availability of BWTS and facilities for retrofitting, associated problems include crew training, increased power consumption and additional working hours for crew
"Shipping is in need of an alternative to solve these challenges," said Mr. Mishra, addressing the Ballast Water Technology Asia Conference in Singapore today, "and that solution, is the reinvented Port Based Mobile Ballast Water Treatment Facility, or BWT Boat."
Mr. Mishra says the BWM convention allows for two approaches not linked to onboard treatment systems:
"Alternatives," such as discharge to reception facilities "Other Methods," that provide the "same level of protection"
The BWT Boat concept developed by IRClass would provide a flexible facility, fitted with a type-approved modular BWTS customized for local waters. Ships would use the BWT Boat for receiving treated water or for discharging ballast, for a reasonable service fee.
The only thing which ships would need to have is a standard discharge connection on the deck for connecting with the BWT Boat.
According to Mr. Mishra, comprehensive research conducted by IRClass on behalf of the Indian Maritime Authority indicates that the BWT Boat approach could be implemented in regional and coastal trading zones all over the world, wherever small and medium-sized vessels serve only regional ports.
The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) is an independent ship classification society providing ship classification and certification as well as technical inspection services. It became a full member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) in 2010.