A reckless IMO-process regarding the implementation of the ballast water management convention has been blamed for the dissolution of BWTS manufacturer, OceanSaver.
Aage Bjørn Andersen, one of the two founders of OceanSaver, has announced that it has filed for bankruptcy.
Andersen said that “internal mismanagement and incompetence combined with a reckless IMO-process eliminating huge markets for many years, have taken its first victim.”
“It makes me sad and extremely disappointed to have to see OceanSaver’s dissolution as their request for bankruptcy was delivered today.”
OceanSaver’s ballast water treatment system (BWTS) won IMO type approval in 2008 and United States Coast Guard type approval in December 2016. It was the first electrochlorination BWTS to receive approval by the Coast Guard.
The IMO has been heavily criticised for the process regarding the implementation of its ballast water management convention. OceanSaver is the first victim.
Initially set for September 8th, 2017, following MEPC 71, the decision was made to push back the date of compliance with the convention. Shipowners and operators now have until the first or second IOPP renewal survey after September 2017 to comply with the convention.
This means that existing vessels will be able to operate as they are, without a BWTS, until as late as 2024. This will be 20 years after the convention was first adopted.
While for shipowners and operators this brings good news, allowing them more time to find, fit and test a BWTS, for the manufacturers, it is a different story. They face immediate reduced demand and the prospect of bankruptcy.
On September 20, IMS signed a purchase agreement with the OceanSaver Trustee to acquire all intellectual property, certificates and assets after OceanSaver’s bankruptcy. The product will be sold and manufactured at TeamTec, which is a company in the IMS group.