New amendments to the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention are due to come into force in October this year.
Compliance with the BWM convention requires that water treatment systems be fitted to minimize the influx of organisms and to remove sediments and unnecessary discharge, with fitted systems complying fully with the new approval code. In addition, ships are required to carry a ballast water management plan and to record and report on ballast exchanges.
Under the amendments to the convention, The BWMS code becomes mandatory. Regulation D-3 of the convention requires that ballast water systems must be approved according to new Guidelines (G8). Other amendments which will take effect at the same time include the implementation schedule for compliance.
U.K. based PSM Instrumentation Ltd says that the impending entry into force of new, mandatory approval guidelines provide good reason to upgrade to the latest digital tank gauging systems. In addition to ensuring compliance, says the company, the installation of a modern tank level gauging systems can help cut ongoing operational costs.
Continuous measurement of ballast water levels ensures that the treatment is run for only as long as required, an important consideration given the high energy consumption of new water treatment systems and the vast amounts of water to be processed.
In addition, the digital gauging systems provide accurate data in real time to inform ship systems to comply with new recording and reporting standards, which require vessels to hold a ballast water data record.
Although ballast water management systems now being fitted to new ships may incorporate tank gauging equipment, where existing ships are being retrofitted this assumption cannot be made, with potentially up to 40,000 ships affected.
PSM’s digital tank gauging systems fully meet the latest BWS standards and offer easy integration with other ship systems to facilitate fast-tracking of upgrades.