Ballast Water Treatment
Ballast Water Treatment
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To ensure stability for ships, ballast water is often used to correct or adjust the list or trim of a ship. After loading the ballast water is often carried across the ocean and discharged in an area with another aquatic environment.
As a result, invasive species can end up in the water and effect the local biodiversity.
For this reason, the IMO has set regulations for the treatment of ballast water in the ballast water management convention.
These regulations compel ships to treat the ballast water so the chance of harmful aquatic organisms being introduced in a foreign environment will be minimized and eventually even prevented.
From the 8th of September 2017, the regulations are taken into effect. All ships will have to comply with the D-1 standard and new build ships will also have to comply with the D-2 standard.
To treat the ballast water, ballast water treatment systems are used. These systems filter the water and treat the water with chemicals or UV-light.
In the next 7 years, over 450.000 ships are required to retrofit and install a ballast water treatment system.
The retrofit is time- consuming and needs to be carefully planned to minimize the loss of revenues.
Currently most shipping companies choose a fixed system in the engine room but in some cases the space in the engine room is restricted, which makes it difficult to install the treatment plant. In this case a mobile ballast water treatment can a solution. These containerized ballast water treatment units can be placed on deck or a shore and can be connected on the ships ballast water system.
This research aims to answer the question in which way a mobile ballast water treatment unit could be a suitable replacement for a fixed ballast water treatment plant.
By explaining a fixed- and a mobile treatment unit compatible for the MV Fivelborg in detail, an idea about the working principle and the specifications of these systems is given. Furthermore a research is carried out among professionals in the shipping industry to gather opinions about the concept of deploying mobile ballast water systems on a large scale.
A difference in approach depending on function becomes visible.
Deck officers tend to be more optimistic about the concept while engineers show more skepticism towards the idea.
The biggest obstacles to realize this concept according to the interviewed are the logistic challenges and the fleet wide standardization.
The space consumption, extra operations for the crew and time loss in port are important disadvantages given by the interviewed.
The advantages according to the interviewed are lower investment costs, less units per ship and the possibility of shore based maintenance.
Concluding this, the mobile ballast water treatment units could be a good outcome for shipping companies with standardized ships sailing on fixed routes with limited space in the engine room.