Photo: Newport Shipping

Global BWTS retrofit orders to rise by 700 pct

In the coming period, global yards are expected to carry out 875 ballast water treatment system (BWTS) installations per month – a roughly 700% increase on the level of recent years.

“This could lead to a massive bottleneck due to limited yard capacity, driving up both equipment and installation costs,” UK’s Newport Shipping (NS) and Norway’s Optimarin revealed.

As informed, the duo has teamed up to jointly respond to the high market demand. The companies have also secured the first order of BWTS from an unnamed German shipowner.

Optimarin’s ballast water treatment system; Credit: Optimarin

The expected “rush” of retrofits of such systems comes ahead of International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) deadline for compliance with D2 standard for ballast water discharges.

The D2 standard is a performance standard that specifies the maximum amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged, including specified indicator microbes harmful to human health.

According to Clarksons Research, around 35,000 vessels still need to install BWTS with only 40 months remaining until IMO’s 2024 deadline.

“Shipowners are running the risk of leaving it too late. There is a real sense of urgency for shipowners to start planning now for installation of BWT systems to avoid a negative impact on price, quality and delivery,” warned Lianghui Xia, managing director of Newport Shipping.

Optimarin has so far delivered around 800 BWTS, with another 400 on order.

The BWTS specialist has seen its best-ever start to a year, with the company signing a series of fleet contracts, frame agreements and system orders to continue the positive trend recorded in Q4 2020.

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A series of other orders, many from new customers, has pushed sales figures past 100 units for 2021 so far, according to Optimarin.

Optimarin ballast system is fully approved by both IMO and USCG, with certification through DNV GL, Lloyd’s, RINA, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping.