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ClassNK recommends prompt ballast water system installation

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2018

Recent analysis undertaken by ClassNK identifies 2022 as the peak year for ballast water system (BWS) installations if all ship operators using its class leave the retrofitting of systems until the last minute.

Graph showing the distribution of BWS installation dates for existing ships with ClassNK

The classification society’s analysis of ships in its own class reveals that only 92 systems will need to be installed next year, rising to 662 in 2020, 795 in 2021 and a peak of 2,832 in 2022. After that, installations fall off sharply to 558 in 2023 and 461 in 2024. Of the total 7,315 ClassNK vessels requiring system installations, 1,915 ships have already had retrofits, leaving 5,400 that still require attention, the classification society said.  
Commenting on the high retrofit concentration in 2022, ClassNK said that difficulties could be avoided if owners and operators choose to make installations ahead of the deadline. However, the peak 2022 figure could decrease as a result of ship recycling trends and in response to US Coast Guard regulations, the classification society conceded. But other sources have independently warned of the dangers of a wait-and-see approach. Timely access to system hardware in sufficient numbers, notably the supply of certain key components, has been circled as a concern, while ship repair analysts warn that yard space and time is likely to become more expensive as demand ramps up.

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