Requirements to install ballast water treatment systems on some 70,000 ships will “put unattainable demands on ship repair facilities, engineering capabilities and on the relatively small number of manufacturers that have developed suitable treatment equipment," said a statement issued last week by associations representing shipbuilders, classification societies and shipowners.
A press release expressing concerns about the International Maritime Organization's Ballast Water Management Convention was issued by the International Chamber of Shipping, International Association of Classification Societies, BIMCO, Intercargo and Intertranko (representing dry bulk and tanker owners repectively), the Oil Companies International Marine Forum, and Committee for Expertise of Shipbuilding Specifics as they met in Busan, South Korea, for their annual Tripartite meeting hosted by the Korean Register of Shipping and KOSHIPA, Korea’s national shipbuilders association.
“The meeting was united in expressing its serious concern with the obstacles that all three parties face as the Ballast Water Management Convention moves closer to ratification, eight years after its text was adopted. It was always going to be challenging to fit ballast water treatment equipment to all of the world’s 70,000 ships,” the group said.
“New technologies needed to be explored and developed to treat the volume of water required by ocean going ships as ballast,” they added.
ICS Chairman Masamichi Morooka said “It is good that many governments now seem to understand the shipowners’ arguments that it will be very difficult indeed to retrofit tens of thousands of ships within the timeline of two or three years of entry into force, as the convention text currently requires. IMO has agreed to develop an IMO Assembly Resolution, for adoption in 2013, to smooth the implementation.”
“It is vital that we ease the log jam by spreading implementation over five years rather than two or three.” said Dave Iwamoto, chairman of the Committee for Expertise of Shipbuilding. - Chris Dupin