Total cost of ownership (TCO) involves all costs related to a system during its lifetime.
The investment cost of a ballast water treatment system is only a very small part of its total lifecycle cost. A $20,000 higher investment cost will only cost you $1500 a year over a 20-year lifespan (5% internal rate). Moreover, there are often additional costs for support products that are not included in the system itself, such as heaters, holding tanks and ventilation.
Maintenance and operating costs over the lifetime of a system can be higher than the investment cost, and here systems differ significantly . A cheaper system with no Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) cycle, for example, will require costly cleaning operations. These cannot be avoided without the risk of operational stops or the potential loss of energy efficiency.
Repair and replacement costs climb if a system is not of the right quality. These costs appear after the first few years and may be very high. For example, a UV reactor of 316L steel normally needs replacement after 5 years, which means a new heavy investment.
The cost of lost revenue is perhaps the greatest cost of all. If your ship cannot enter ports with low UV transmittance or fresh/brackish water, you must say no to business and battle with more competitors in the “easy lanes”. Moreover, having the wrong type of ballast water treatment system will negatively impact the resale value of your vessel.