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Thursday, May 9, 2019 

ABS has published its 2019 Ballast Water Management Advisory providing critical advice to owners in advance of the five-year window beginning September 2019, requiring retrofits of BWM systems on existing ships.

“We anticipate roughly 6,000 vessels per year over the next five years will need to be retrofitted with ballast water management systems (BWMS) to meet the revised IMO compliance dates,” said William Burroughs, ABS Ballast Water Management Lead. “We recognise this is a large portion of the fleet and will only be achievable through proper planning and effective project management and execution. This Advisory provides in-depth guidance to help owners understand the complexity of retrofitting ballast water management systems, supporting successful and on-time retrofits.”

Through a recent comprehensive global questionnaire of owners and operators, ABS found that 65% of BWMS installations were reported as inoperable or problematic. The Advisory provides a practical and phased approach to guide owners and operators with retrofitting and operating BWMS, helping avoid costly mistakes and operational disruptions.

The Ballast Water Management Advisory covers:

  • Latest IMO & USCG BWMS regulatory updates
  • Updates on ballast water treatment technologies, practical considerations and system limitations for each
  • Practical advice to help owners identify the “most suitable” BWMS for each of their vessels
  • A detailed discussion of the challenges for conducting BWMS retrofits.

The updated Advisory follows the ABS Best Practices for Operation of Ballast Water Management Systems Report published earlier this year that affords insight for best practices to overcome key challenges with selecting, installing and operating a BWMS.

Lessons learned from recent ABS Workshops were distilled into a concise and practical step-by-step explanation of the retrofit challenges. The Advisory provides reminders for owners when reviewing retrofit projects for their fleet and will allow designers and planners to better manage commonly overlooked details that could delay BWMS retrofits.

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