Optimarin is on the brink of becoming the first supplier of an environmentally friendly UV-based system to gain USCG approval. The Norwegian firm, which has focused exclusively on BWT since its formation in 1994, has satisfied the coast guard’s stringent testing criteria for fresh, brackish and marine water. DNV GL has now submitted all final documentation on Optimarin’s behalf, with full approval expected in Q4 2016. The news follows on the heels of the long-awaited ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, with Finland’s signature pushing it past the 35% of combined global tonnage (from at least 30 contracting states) needed to bring it into force. Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen believes this dual development will “turbo charge” a business already sitting at the vanguard of the market.
“This has been Optimarin’s best year in business,” he states. “On the back of our success with USCG testing we’ve seen orders steadily build, with contracts signed for over 100 of our Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) so far.“The ratification is, of course, wonderful news, but it’s the USCG approval that arguably provides our key point of difference.” He explains: “USCG standards are more stringent than those of IMO and all vessels discharging ballast water in the US waters will be forced to fit systems that comply with their demanding CMFDA standard. This ensures the elimination of all potentially invasive species. “For shipowners with global fleets and a need for flexibility, the ability to operate in US waters is a must. So, for them, having a compliant system is a ticket to trade. Our established technology delivers just that, while our installation and retrofit expertise provides complete peace of mind. We believe we’re now the clear choice for our segments.” Optimarin has currently received orders for around 500 of its market proven systems, which utilise a combination of filtration and powerful 35kW UV lamps to treat ballast water without the need for chemicals. Of these units 280 have been installed worldwide, with close to 100 retrofits, fitted in tandem with global engineering partners Goltens and Zeppelin. Recent orders include ten units for Atlantis Tankers, 15 systems for Vard 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. “The years of investment, experience and a dedicated focus on BWT are now paying off,” Andersen concludes. “The business feels like it’s been turbo-charged. With proven, simple, flexible and reliable technology, that meets all present and future regulatory requirements, we can offer shipowners exactly what they need to satisfy individual vessel needs. “On the back of the BWM ratification, and our imminent USCG approval, that puts Optimarin in an excellent position for long-term dependability and success.” Optimarin’s USCG testing was conducted by DNV GL at the NIVA test facility in Norway, and on seaboard tests, with the pumps on the Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) running at full treatment rated capacity. As well as satisfying all IMO and USCG requirements, OBS is certified by a comprehensive range of classification organisations, including DNV GL, Lloyd’s, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping.