Global Water Intelligence (GWI)

Ballast Water Market gets set to sail


Source: Global Water Intelligence (GWI)

A surge of investment in ballast water treatment is expected in 2015, due to the imminent ratification of global environmental legislation. Spending is expected to explode with more than 65,000 systems set to account for $45.6 billion investment over the next five years. A new report by Global Water Intelligence (GWI) outlines the opportunities on offer for water technologies.

In line with imminent regulatory enforcement and developments, Ballast Water Treatment Market analyses how such regulatory changes will drive the adoption of ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) over the next five years and investigates the approved technology suppliers in the industry. 

It is estimated that over 10,000 marine species are transported around the world in ballast water every day, and the establishment of non-indigenous organisms in new environments is having significant ecological, human health, and economical consequences, costing approximately $100 billion per year. 

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention was adopted in 2004 to address this issue. Once convention comes into force 12 months after ratification it will be mandatory for all vessels above 400gt to install ballast water treatment systems.

“The IMO convention has not yet been fully ratified, whilst the US Coastguard (USCG) is yet to make its first full type approval for a BWTS, causing delays in the uptake of BWTS and confusion as to when to install such systems, and which to select. Nonetheless, it is expected that at least one of these events will take place within the next year, after which the demand for and uptake of BWTS will increase significantly, making this report an essential guide,” Christopher Gasson, publisher commented.

The report reveals that the peak of capital expenditure anticipated to occur in BWTS in 2019, when $13.2 billion will be invested. Growth will largely come from the substantial volume of retrofits that will need to take place in order to comply legally with the regulations. 

Ship owners will be more inclined to seek BWTS that conform to the more stringent regulations of the USCG, due to the region being highly important in terms of global shipping activity. 

As the choice of BWTS is highly dependent on the requirements of an individual vessel, and the capability of a certain technology to cope with these needs, there is no single BWTS that can cater to all in the industry. 

The mammoth task of retrofitting the world’s merchant fleet will not be completed quickly. Limited shipyard availability and supplier manufacturing capacity will be one of the main restraints in this market. 

Results show that UV disinfection in combination with filtration is currently the most common technology utilised by installed BWTS, with bulk carriers and container ships being the predominant users of this technology. Whilst in the short term, there is likely to be substantial growth in demand for electrochlorination and electrolysis systems.

The present market is dominated by Asian BWTS suppliers, such as Panasia and Techcross due to location. However, as the newbuild market loses its dominance in line with the rapid expansion of the retrofit market, other manufacturers outside of Asia are expected to gain a greater prominence in the market.

Cargo ships, including bulk carriers, oil tankers and container ships, will drive most of the short-term demand for ballast water treatment. Growth in this area is expected to be rapid, peaking at $11.2 billion in 2018.

It is also expected that the number of BWTS suppliers active in the market will decline due to the challenging nature of gaining and maintaining a prominent market position. The financial background and capability of the vendor to deal with the surge in demand for BWTS will be key deciding factors affecting a supplier’s ability to stay in the market.

Since the BWTS market is young, further improvements and developments in available systems are expected in order to enhance their ability to deal with the challenges of ballast water treatment.

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