ABS updates best practice guidance
US classification society ABS has published its updated Best Practices for Operation of Ballast Water Management (BWM) Systems Report, offering fresh insight on best practices to overcome key challenges with selecting, installing and operating a BWM system.
First published in 2017, the updated 2019 Report captures the key discussion items, lessons-learned and valuable insight gathered and shared during its global program of industry workshops, shaped by questionnaires from owners and operators of vessels with BWM systems.
“Our engagement with the industry has helped us gain a deep understanding of the challenges from around the globe, which we used to develop and enhance our guidance to industry,” said Derek Novak, ABS Senior Vice President for Engineering and Technology. “Working closely with owners and operators we produced detailed best practices for mitigating and minimizing issues with the installation and operation of BWM systems.”
To form an accurate picture of the current progress with BWM compliance, ABS held global workshops in New Orleans, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Athens, reaching more than 60 shipowners and operators and about 500 vessels. Workshop attendees reviewed the best practices that support successful BWM system integration, exploring both common and unique challenges resulting from different applied technologies, various ship types and sizes, operational and environmental conditions, operating frequency, crew competencies, BWM system maintenance requirements and feasible contingency measures.
“Between 2017 and today, we have seen an increasing number of early adopters attempting to operate systems before required compliance deadlines,” said William Burroughs, ABS Ballast Water Management Lead. “With the increased number of owners experiencing problematic operations due to system design limitations, we expanded our focus to cover practical contingency measures.”
Key insights gained during the workshops and captured in the comprehensive questionnaires include:
- Incorporating ship-specific contingency measures within the BWM Plan helps avoid potential downtime and financial penalties;
- System-specific training, both for shoreside support and vessel crew, is critical for effectively operating and maintaining a BWM system;
- Monitoring key data and operational trends and understanding system design limitations helps crew determine the suitability of the treatment technology for a vessel’s planned operational routes;
- Providing after-sales global vendor support and expertise is critically important for uninterrupted BWM system operation.