Optimarin shakes up BWT sector with unique promise for ship owners

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Optimarin has announced another first for the ballast water treatment (BWT) segment. The Norwegian-headquartered BWT specialist, which has focused exclusively on the development of environmentally friendly systems since its foundation in 1994, has become the first manufacturer to offer a five-year parts and servicing guarantee. It’s a move that, according to CEO Tore Andersen, has the potential to redefine what ship owners expect from suppliers in this ultra-competitive sector.

Optimarin has a unique track record in BWT. It was the first firm to install a commercial system, back in 2000 on-board the cruise ship Princess Regal, and the first to attain full USCG approval. It now boasts more than 330 installed units worldwide, of which over 150 are retrofits, with more than 520 confirmed orders. It’s this history of operational success that has prompted the innovative move.

“We thought it was time to demonstrate our long-term faith in our system and absolute commitment to this segment,” Mr Andersen explained.

“No other manufacturer offers a guarantee of this nature, but we can. So, if a ship owner signs a framework agreement with Optimarin for installation on multiple vessels, we will provide them with a five-year contract that covers all parts and servicing, worldwide. This is our promise of reliable, safe and effective operations, and, with our total regulatory compliance, complete peace of mind.”

Optimarin’s powerful UV-based system is simple to maintain, with no moving parts, and easy to install on almost any vessel, thanks to its modular nature. In fact, just last month freight ferry operator Seatruck revealed its own crews had installed five systems themselves while its vessels were undertaking operations, with no need to dry-dock.

“That’s the essence of Optimarin,” said Mr Andersen. “We’re here to make life as simple as possible for ship owners. And that’s exactly what this guarantee offers.”

He continued: “It also comes down to delivering the best value. We know our system is significantly cheaper to design for vessels than competing technology. Similarly, due to its simplicity, there are minimal maintenance requirements, and it is considerably cheaper to install – full stop. We have fast track deliveries available for many sizes, meaning reduced waiting time, and we can’t be beaten in terms of global compliance. As an all-round proposition – taking into consideration reliability, simplicity, installation, track record, price and service – we believe we offer something no one else comes close to. The guarantee is, quite simply, ‘the icing on the cake’.”

Optimarin has the backing of a stable group of investors, which, together with its considerable orderbook, allows it to implement such long-term plans. Its system (OBS – Optimarin Ballast System) is widely acknowledged as setting the standard for the industry. As proof of this, global ship management services and training provider Anglo Eastern has installed two OBS at its training facilities, one in Manila and one in Mumbai, to train crew members ahead of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention coming into widespread force in 2019.

Optimarin customers include names of the order of The Royal Netherlands Navy, Saga Shipholding, Technip, GulfMark, MOL, Solstad Farstad, and Hapag Lloyd, amongst others. Its technology is fully approved by both IMO and USCG, with certification through DNV GL, Lloyd’s, RINA, Bureau Veritas, MLIT Japan, and American Bureau of Shipping.