Wärtsilä see increase in interest for BWMS retrofit service

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

02 February 2018


With entry into force of the ballast water treatment regulation now less than 2 years away, Wärtsilä BWMS and scrubber retrofit engineering services claim to be seeing a considerable increase in interest in their experience and risk reduction offerings. The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Convention for Ballast Water Management entered into force on 8 September 2017. To meet the IMO requirements, nearly all merchant vessels above 400 gross register tonnes (GRT) will have to consider ballast discharge treatment and install a ballast treatment system at their next mandatory International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) survey to stop the spread of non-native species, bacteria and viruses threatening the marine ecosystems. Wärtsilä offers ship owners and operators both proven ultraviolet (UV) and electro-chlorination (EC) technology to meet the specific operational and economic requirements of their fleet. The medium pressure UV treatment solution is mainly suited for vessels with small to medium pump capacities and uses ultraviolet light to ensure discharge compliance. The side stream EC system is used for vessels with larger pump capacities and generates naturally degradable sodium hypochlorite from the sea water to disinfect ballast discharge and ensure both ballast and International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) compliance. From Wärtsilä’s own market analysis, more than 26,000 ships above 400 GRT, prepares to comply with the new environmental legislation, the demand for BWMS retrofit projects and engineering services is likely to peak between the years of 2020 and 2024. Furthermore, the BWMS new-build demand adds to this work. In addition to IMO’s Convention entering into force, the US Coast Guard’s regulation on vessel discharges is expected to boost the BWMS market. “From our experience the timeline for retrofit project completion requires a minimum of 6–8 months. Therefore, the ship owners and operators could face supply issues without scheduling and planning their BWMS installations well in advance of dry-docking and compliance dates. In partnering with our customers to provide a wide range of support from BWMS technology to hands-on maintenance service, we aim to increase operational reliability,” says Markus Ljungkvist, General Manager, Project Sales, Wärtsilä Services.