Optimarin nears USCG type approval
Ballast water treatment (BWT) system specialist Optimarin has completed the US Coast Guard’s (USCG) environmental test and all land-based and shipboard testing for marine, brackish and fresh water.
The company claimed to be the first supplier of UV-based BWT technology to satisfy the USCG’s stringent CMFDA testing criteria – a development that it believes can be “a springboard for global success.”
Optimarin has specialised in UV treatment technology for the past 22 years, installing the world’s first commercial system in 2000 on a cruise ship. The company said that it was currently enjoying its best year with close to 100 systems ordered thus far.
“The conclusion of the USCG approval testing marks an important evolutionary step for our business,” said CEO Tore Andersen, noting that full USCG type approval is now expected in the third quarter of this year, once all necessary documentation has been completed.
“Our customers can now be assured that our system meets the most stringent regulatory standards in the world, giving them peace of mind for all global fleet operations now, and into the future.
“With the ratification of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention finally on the horizon – just a further 0.13% of global tonnage is required to bring it into force – our total compliance is a real strength. That, along with the fact our technology is market proven and simple to maintain, with no moving parts, puts us in pole position for a segment that is predicted to be worth in excess of $3 bill by 2023,” Andersen said.
Optimarin sees a potential market of 25,000 ships worldwide for its system. At the outset, the company opted to offer a mid-range BWTS of up to 2,500 cu m per hour capacity. Andersen said that his team – in conjunction with global engineering partners Goltens and Zeppelin – can take “a very significant share” of the retrofit market.
“We know retrofit,” he said. “Of the approximately 500 systems we’ve sold over 100 have been retrofits. Our modular systems and expert engineering partners mean the solutions we offer are flexible and easy to install onto any ship, of any type. Shipowners appreciate this, laying the foundation for the growing number of framework fleet agreements we are now signing.”
Key orders signed this year include 10 systems for Atlantis Tankers. In total, Turkish interests have ordered 500 cu m per hour BWTS for two chemical tanker newbuildings and 10 retrofits. Andersen told Tanker Operator that the first Ex-Proof unit will be installed this summer.
In addition, the company is tendering for 750 and 1,000 cu m per hour unit orders for tankers.
“We’ve spent over two decades, and many millions of dollars, in our quest to develop the best, most compliant BWT technology on the market. That dedication is now paying off. We have an excellent orderbook, stable finances and management, and a very bright future ahead - with what we believe should be five to seven years of exponentially rising revenues.
“The imminent USCG approval is paving the way for us to make an even bigger impact on the global marketplace than we have to date. A surge of new BWTS business is on the horizon, and we aim to take advantage of that – giving shipowners the technology, service and expertise they need for trouble-free, compliant worldwide operations,” he said.
Optimarin’s Ballast System (OBS) is fully IMO compliant and certified by DNV GL, LR, BV, MLIT Japan, and ABS.
An in-depth look at Optimarin will be included in Tanker Operator’s August/September SMM issue.