JULY 7, 2016 — Sandnes, Norway, headquartered ballast water treatment (BWT) system specialist Optimarin reports that it has successfully completed the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) environmental test and all land-based and shipboard testing for marine, brackish and fresh water.
It is understood 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 is a pioneer in the BWT segment, having specialized in environmentally friendly UV treatment technology for the past 22 years, installing the world's first ever commercial system in 2000 on the cruise ship Princess Regal.
The firm is currently enjoying its best year ever, with close to 100 systems ordered so far in 2016.
"The conclusion of the USCG approval testing marks an important evolutionary step for our business," says 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," says Andersen. "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 billion by 2023."
Optimarin sees a potential market for its system of 25,000 ships worldwide, with Andersen believing 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," says Andersen. "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 so far this year include a 15 unit contract from Vard for Topaz, ten systems for Atlantis Tankers, a further ten for the Royal Netherlands Navy, nine systems for Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group, three for Saga Shipholding (adding to an additional 26 systems already installed on its fleet), two for Solvang ASA, and a frame agreement with Carisbrooke with the potential to encompass retrofits on 46 bulk and multipurpose vessels.
"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," says Andersen. "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."
Optimarin's Ballast System (OBS) is fully IMO compliant and certified by a comprehensive range of classification organizations, including DNV GL, Lloyd's, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping.