Ballast Water equipment manufacturers have gathered to form a trade association intended to meet growing demand for well-founded information on the practicability of ballast water treatment technologies, as well as on the technical and environmental aspects of implementing ballast water management regulations worldwide.
BEMA, a registered trade association based in the United States, seeks to provide coordinated, technical, non-commercial guidance to both the maritime industry and the regulatory agencies that are trying to understand the intricacies of ballast water treatment. The Association will serve as a key resource for ship owners, designers, testing equipment suppliers, and regulators to discuss openly how ballast water treatment systems work and what should be the expectations of each technology operating across a world fleet.
“It has been encouraging to see how enthusiastically the equipment manufacturers have embraced the organization,” said Marcie Merksamer, Secretary General of BEMA and member of the formation committee. “We have had a quick and energetic response from suppliers representing all of the major technology types in the industry and from every region of the world. BEMA is truly a global enterprise.”
“There is a lot of value that [BEMA] can provide even before we achieve NGO status at the IMO,” said Steve Candito, Ecochlor CEO, member of the formation committee, and newly elected member of BEMA’s Board of Directors. “We have already been approached by ICS, BIMCO, and other ship owner associations to discuss the important implementation challenges. The industry wants to discuss solutions and we are ready to talk.”
Representatives from Cathelco, Coldharbour, DESMI Ocean Guard, ERMA FIRST, Evoqua, Optimarin, Panasia, and Wӓrtsilӓ were also elected to serve as members of BEMA’s Board of Directors. The makeup of the Board ensures that the organization has balance with regard to the technologies that are being used in the market, the different regions of the world that serve the marketplace, and companies of different sizes and scope. Riggio reinforced the need for this balance, “Representing the entire market is critical if we want to be a truly impartial, technical resource for the shipping and regulatory community.” The other elected officers of the association are: Vice President Efi Tsolaki of ERMA FIRST; Treasurer Birgir Nilsen of Optimarin; and Secretary Andrew Marshall of Coldharbour.
BEMA is scheduling meetings with numerous shipowner associations and industry trade groups to provide unbiased direction and advice to their membership about the impending retrofit period, currently scheduled to begin in September of 2019.