Decision-making tool for ballast water management systems
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- Master's theses (IMT) 
The International Maritime Organizations ballast water convention is expected to be ratified in 2012. As a result of this, the shipping industry will need to adjust their vessels to meet the new requirements. The industry (ship-owners) will need to consider aspects related to installing appropriate ballast water management systems in their fleets. At present there is limited knowledge and experience in the industry in relation to installing and using treatment technology for ballast water. Therefore, a decision-making tool covering these aspects would be useful. The purpose of this thesis is to produce a model that will assist ship-owners in finding the most suitable or optimal treatment system by focusing on meeting the critical and less critical operative patterns of the vessel. The output of the model is a scoring system, which shows the degree of harmonization and provides a transparent comparison between the ship-owner’s needs and the characteristics of some of the leading systems on the market today. The result was accomplished by conducting an objective comparison of ballast water management systems based on pre-defined criteria relevant for their intended use onboard ships. The decision-making tool should be able to cover the needs of a majority of the vessel classes, both newly built and retrofits, which will be required to treat ballast water. The decision-making tool is based on a four step process: Qualification, Weighting, Matching and Visualization. Before matching treatment systems and needs, a qualification stage is conducted to discard systems that fail to meet essential requirements. Only systems with no critical mismatches make it through to the matching phase. Furthermore, a weighting stage provides the information needed to ascertain the degree of harmony and the transparency between the needs of the ship-owner and the characteristics of each qualified treatment system. Calculations are done, and a summary of how the ship-owner has weight the five categories will be presented. The score value is based on the average weighting, by the ship-owner, of each criterion in a category. Configurations of the weighting are produced until the summarized category values represent the desired priorities. The defined system characteristics are weighted in this thesis with a weighting support tool attached to each criterion, justified and explained in this study. This is done by acquiring information about the systems and the core technology behind the treatment method. The core technologies used for ballast water treatment are: UV radiation, electro-chlorination, ozone, advanced oxidation processes, deoxygenation and filtration. Their strengths and weaknesses are described in this thesis. The decision-making tool will provide the ship-owner with knowledge of how he values different categories of criteria related to ballast water treatment and what systems on today’s market will provide the best match for his needs. The study concludes with the fact that it is possible to design a tool that will apply to the needs of vessels with different ballast water arrangements, operative routines and size of ballast tanks. The next stage of the process should be verification of the model.
The thesis presented is a central part of the technical master program in water technology at UMB – University of Life Science. It represents work equivalent to 30 ECS credits or one semester of work. The work presented should include central parts of the skills the student should be expected to have acquired after 5 years of technology studies at university level.