In the context of ballast water management systems (BWMS), a number of shipowners have expressed the expectation that they should be “plug and play” equipment without requiring additional work.
As a result, many operators who were expecting a “plug and play” type system are now frustrated that the selection and installation of a BWMS requires additional work specific to the ship and its operating profile, USCG notes.
The selection, installation, operation, and maintenance of a BWMS requires analyses specific to the vessel and its operating profile.
For this reasonn every BWMS installation is a customized installation, and every ballast water management plan (BWMP) is a customized plan. Furthermore, a BWMS will require analyses specific to the vessel and its operating profile.
In addition, USCG suggests that while consultation with specialists and contractors may help vessel owners and operators meet this new challenge, it may not be appropriate to completely outsource this work and expect a “plug and play” capability.
Moreover, is worth noting that the operation of a BWMS directly impacts cargo operations. Because ballast water management is linked to the ability to load or discharge cargo in real time, owners shouldn’t expect “plug and play” but instead should require the same level of diligence, analysis, and integration they would give to any other aspect of a cargo management system.
For the above reasons, a “plug and play” solution is not likely to succeed.
“Successful efforts include additional design and engineering, a full review of maintenance requirements, a comprehensive comparison and analysis of BWMSs to shipboard operations, and the development and implementation of a crew training plan for the BWMS,” USCG mentions.