On 8 September the starting gun fires for tens of thousands of vessels in the race for IMO ballast water compliance. Shipowners need to choose their running partners, and quickly, to avoid being barged off track…

Simple truths

Let’s consider the facts.

On 8 September the IMO D2 ballast water compliance deadline comes in to effect. This means that vessels must install compliant BWT solutions between that juncture and 2024, whenever a vessel’s International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) certificate expires.

So, that’s around 50,000 mandated ships. Of those perhaps 10-15% have already installed a system.

Now, that leaves a lot of vessels jostling for position in the race for compliance. A lot of vessels fighting for a limited amount of capacity – in terms of manufacturing, engineering companies and available yards for installation.

Basically, for those owners and operators that wait until the last minute to make BWT decisions, it’s going to be chaos. Pure and simple.

Dangers of delay

This isn’t a scare story; this is a wake up call. This is reality.

What every shipowner wants is control – control over decision-making, cost and quality. But by consistently postponing BWT moves that autonomy is being sacrificed. Here’s how:

  • Manufacturers– Every shipowner wants the best BWT solution for their individual vessels, but if trusted suppliers are at full capacity then they may have to settle for second, third or final choices. And then there’s the price. The entire market will react to the forces of supply and demand, leaving those at the back of the pack with greatly reduced bargaining power.
  • Engineering– Owners want quality engineering companies to do quality installation jobs, but if they’re already at full capacity they may have to resort to firms that don’t offer a specialist track record in BWT. This, naturally, opens the door to the potential of encountering problems down the line.
  • Downtime– The bane of shipowners. Everyone wants to minimize downtime. So if you can dry dock at a location without deviating from a planned route you will. It makes perfect sense… unfortunately it makes perfect sense to everyone. That means key strategic locations will fill up quickly, forcing those who delay installation to travel further afield (potentially much further afield), thus wasting valuable time and impacting upon revenues.

The attraction of delaying capital expenditure (particularly in unpredictable segments) is simple to understand, but so are the real perils of ignoring the inevitable.

Those that do will relinquish control. Those that act will save money, get the products and support they need, and find the locations and time scales that fit their business and vessel needs.

The starting gun is cocked and ready to fire. Are you ready for the race?

First place for BWT

Here at Optimarin we’re committed to helping you cross the line with the optimal efficiency, cost, performance and control.

Our modular, easy to install, operate, and maintain systems are market proven for long-term reliability and complete peace of mind. Our expert engineering partners are on hand worldwide to deliver retrofit excellence regardless of individual vessel constraints and operational demands. We lead the world in compliance, service standards and, thanks to over 25 years focused exclusively on BWT, sector understanding.

If you need a running partner, now’s the time to take control – call Optimarin and see what we can do for you and your fleet.