INTERTANKO's Senior Manager Environment, Tim Wilkins, gave the well-attended Posidonia technical conference the Association's view on ballast water management (BWM). He emphasised in particular that the process of finding and choosing BWM equipment has been left largely to the shipowner, and that more information and assistance is needed from equipment vendors.
Of prime importance is ensuring that equipment actually meets the physical requirements of where the ship will be trading - factors include heat, salinity, turbidity, and biochemical parameters.
Then he highlighted the effect of BWM equipment on corrosion and coatings, the failure of some filters to do the job, the challenge of shipyard capacity and experience, the problems of scaling systems up so that they still function, and last but by no means least, the regulatory challenges involving type approval and how they cross over (or fail to cross over) with verification of compliance. Type approval does not ensure compliance once installed, he stressed, encouraging shipowners to ease the confusion on this issue by sharing their experiences.
INTERTANKO's Technical Director Dragos Rauta covered alternative options for owners over ECA compliance in 2015. The ultimate 0.1% and 0.5% goals are unlikely to be achieved in the long run other than by using clean fuels, he said. Those who portray the equivalent solution (scrubbers) as cheaper need to consider the high cost of up to three scrubbers per ship, the cost of putting in a large installation, the space it will take up, the necessity for and consumption of pumps to feed it, the reliability of that equipment, and the environmental performance of scrubbers which leave a trail of acidic wash water and solid toxic waste to be disposed of.
Part of the shipowners' choice will be made on how long a given ship is expected to trade in ECAs, he said, pointing Members towards INTERTANKO's simple ECA calculator which calculates payback times. Whichever route you take involves significant extra costs, he concluded. But clean fuels offer the simplest, safest and most environmentally sound solution which removes the uncertainty on whether coastal states or port authorities may not allow the use of scrubbers. In addition, there is a long list of advantages in using clean fuels which is not usually accounted for in discussions on the means to reduce SOx emissions from ships.
Source : INTERTANKO