Optimarin gears up for retrofit wave with expansion and new hires

Ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist Optimarin is responding to a growing market and surge in demand by investing in the organization and strengthening its management team.

The company, which expects to double its turnover this year, has employed Leiv Kallestad (pictured) as new CEO, allowing Tore Andersen, the incumbent, to spend his time enhancing market focus and customer service. In order to handle the expected surge in retrofit installations, expected to peak in 2022-23, Optimarin will now make plans for additional expansion, with growth in the technical and sales departments.

“It feels like the stars have finally aligned,” commented Mr Andersen. “We have focused exclusively on BWT for the past 25 years, building a trusted, technologically proven and respected position in this specialist niche. Optimarin was the first company to install a commercial system, and the very first to gain USCG approval. Orders are now coming in with increasing speed, which will contribute towards repaying all the time and money the employees and shareholders have invested in the company over the years.

“As such, we’ve taken the decision to reconfigure the management team allowing me to focus on our growing customer base and market development. Leiv takes over the overall responsibility for the company and will ensure we’re positioned to achieve our full growth potential. He is a fantastic guy with an excellent business track record, so I’ve got no doubt he’ll thrive in this new role, with so much opportunity on the horizon.”

Optimarin has now sold 750 of its simple, flexible and market proven UV-based BWT systems, with more than 500 installed and operational. So far, around 300 of these have been retrofitted, but this is a number Andersen expects to see multiplying in the years to come.

“If we consider that, by this time last year, only around 7% of the world fleet had been fitted with BWT systems, then you can see the scale of the task ahead to ensure the IMO and USCG compliance shipowners require,” Mr Andersen stated. “The expectation is that this will lead to a huge increase in demand, and thereby influx of orders, which we believe will really take off mid next year, before peaking in 2022-23.

“As a leading, stable and trusted supplier we are well-positioned to take advantage of such an increase in demand. That’s why we’re investing now to build an organisation with the resources, people and network in place to provide optimal service, products and satisfaction during the ‘boom times’ ahead. The next few years are going to be very exciting.”

Mr Kallestad joined the company as CEO this month. He has an international career track record, with wide experience within the marine, oil & gas, oil service, manufacturing and corporate finance sectors. The Norwegian native has worked in executive positions for companies such as TTS Group, Palfinger Marine/Harding, Roxar, Kverneland Group, TORP LNG, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips and SR-Bank Markets.

Mr Andersen will now move across into the role of Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing.

The Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) has certification from a comprehensive range of classification organizations, including ABS, BV, DNV-GL, LR & MLIT Japan. Current customers include Royal Caribbean International, Fednav, GulfMark, Hapag Lloyd, Matson Navigation, McDermott, the Danish Navy, MOL, Seatruck, Technip, and the Royal Netherlands Navy, amongst others.