Member news | 3 March 2016
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Nobody knows ballast water treatment (BWT) like Optimarin. The Stavanger-based team has focused exclusively on the development of simple, flexible and reliable systems since 1994, installing the world’s first BWT solution on a commercial vessel in 2000, aboard the Regal Princess.

Picture: Tore Andersen, Optimarin

Since that point the firm has gone on to sell around 450 of its market proven Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) to owners, operators and shipyards worldwide.

In a young sector where many are still finding their feet, Optimarin is up and running. And, in 2016, its gaining momentum like never before.

Global impact

OBS orders have so far increased 200% year-on-year in 2016 (January to May).

The firm has signed major fleet agreements with UK shipowner Carisbrooke, encompassing up to 46 vessels, confirmed a ten unit deal with Atlantis Tankers of Turkey, sold nine systems to China’s Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group, and broke into the fishing market for the first time with US-based Fisherman’s Finest. Further orders have been confirmed with the Hong Kong arm of Saga Shipholding and Solvang ASA, amongst others.

The drivers for this success are, according to Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen, myriad, but there’s a recent development that is creating real standout in the competitive global marketplace.

The power of compliance

“It’s compliance,” he comments. “It’s our goal to give customers complete peace of mind and, along with the system’s ease of installation, operation and reliability, we do that through a dedication to 100% compliance, no matter how stringent standards are.”

Optimarin has invested millions of dollars in testing and certification, with certificates from DNV GL, Lloyd’s, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping, alongside full IMO approval. However, it’s the OBS’ recent success with USCG that is creating real waves.

“USCG has the most demanding approval process,” Andersen says, “but for any owner or operator that wants the flexibility of discharging ballast in US waters it is an absolute must that their BWT system obtains it. Put simply, it is a ticket to trade.”

He continues: “We have now satisfied all USCG requirements for marine and brackish water and are in the final stages with fresh water testing. This will be completed in early summer, with official approval following shortly after. Once confirmed, OBS will be the first environmentally friendly UV-based system, with no chemicals used or produced, to obtain the USCG rubber stamp.

“This is a huge advantage for us and our global customer base – it gives them the reassurance that their systems offer complete compliance, now and into the future.”

Delivering dedication

With the ratification of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management convention now imminent, Optimarin is anticipating a further influx of new orders. This is something it has prepared thoroughly for, establishing a comprehensive network of international representatives alongside strong relationships with global engineering groups Goltens and Zeppelin. Together with these partners the firm offers unparalleled experience in retrofitting, with over 70 units installed on existing vessels, alongside expertise drawn from more than 200 newbuild installations.

“This is Optimarin, this is all we do,” Andersen concludes. “We are dedicated to providing market leading technology and expertise in BWT to customers across the globe.

“We pride ourselves on meeting individual requirements with uniform excellence – delivering the solutions owners, operators and yards need to ensure predictability, flexibility and compliance of operation, wherever they are.

“We like to think we are taking Stavanger worldwide,” he laughs, “helping the industry move forwards with the passion, determination and maritime know-how that our region is renowned for.”

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