World’s first ballast water management system


A milestone has been reached on the signing of the world’s first major Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) contract for larger vessels, signifying a major breakthrough for approaching legislation under the IMO’s Ballast Water Management convention.

OceanSaver, one of the pioneers of this emerging industry, has been contracted by ship builder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for its Ballast Water Management Systems to be installed on three VLCCs on order for Oman Shipping Company (OSC). The contract for the three 317,000 dwt tankers is for the supply of OS BWMS 6000 EX, which treats 6000 m3 ballast water per hour.

With expected ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention in 2011/2012, ballast water management systems are to become mandatory equipment onboard ships, and owners are being advised to adopt such standards ahead of full legal implementation.

“This is a milestone to be noticed,” said OceanSaver’s CEO, Stein Foss. “It is a milestone for the Convention as the industry confirms the availability of suitable BWMS also in the large and complex ships segments and further, that the timeline for the introduction of the new Ballast Water Management regime is indeed fixed and must be taken seriously.”

Acknowledging that the industry “is driven by regulations and is predictable”, Mr Foss highlighted how “the global market for BWM systems is new and represents a massive opportunity. We estimate the overall BWM market to be about $30bn from 2010 to 2020,” he said.

OceanSaver’s core focus lies in the large vessel market representing some 20% of the total by numbers but 40% by value at an estimated $12bn. The company expects to take a significant market share particularly within the tanker, LNG and chemical sector but also larger tonnage in general.

Mr Foss added: “We have crossed a crucial frontier in terms of technological development, and are now focussing on successful commercialisation and production. We have established a strong global network of highly capable agents and secured production capacity to accommodate significant orders this year and in years to come.”