The ballast water treatment supplier sector and environmental lobby are unequivocal in their assessment. Alan Johnstone reports.“My initial reaction was guarded, but hopeful,” confesses Lars Erik Mangset of the WWF, when asked about his response to the MEPC 65 draft resolution on ballast water in May.
“Retrofitting existing vessels with ballast water treatment (BWT) systems was always one of the key hurdles on the road to ratification of the BWM convention, so if this was addressing that concern for shipowners then we could accept it. With this resolution we thought, ‘right, there’s no more excuses’.”
It appears he’s no longer quite as hopeful, as he adds with a sigh: “But what has happened since? You tell me.”That’s a challenge that Tore Andersen, the CEO of ballast water treatment (BWT) system specialist Optimarin, is keen to take on.
“On the order front, very little,” he admits candidly, “especially with regards to retrofitting. But there is movement in the sector – movement of the wrong kind. And the MEPC 65 resolution, which is yet another chapter in a long running saga defined by on-going uncertainty and frustration, has to take some responsibility for that.”