Stay ahead of the pack in the race to retrofit BWTS, advises Optimarin

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Charter rates are booming in some ship segments, meaning shipowners are keeping their fleets running at all costs to rake in record revenue. Fast-track delivery is therefore vital in the race to meet the IMO deadline for ballast water treatment system (BWTS) retrofits, according to Optimarin.

The IMO’s ballast water management convention is due to be implemented in September 2024, with no extension in sight. And delaying BWTS installations could prove costly in the long run, the Norwegian ballast water treatment specialist says.

The installation window is tightening, with only 30 months to the finish line. The company estimates that around 30,000 ships – or about half of 62,000 eligible commercial vessels – still require BWTS retrofits.

This amounts to as many as 1,000 BWTS installations per month, which will put a massive squeeze on yard and engineering capacity.
Optimarin chief executive Leiv Kallestad suggests the capacity crunch caused by high retrofit demand poses the risk of installing sub-standard BWT systems with a higher cost both in upfront price and long-term maintenance – and this could hit future operations.

“Shipowners focused on efficient operations face a big dilemma: how can they keep their vessels running while future-proofing their fleet with a compliant and reliable BWTS to ensure it can continue trading efficiently beyond 2024?” he says.

But he believes there does not have to be a trade-off between retrofitting and ongoing operations.

Optimarin has the capability for fast turnaround on retrofits with efficient installation of its flexible modular system.

The supplier’s fast-track delivery model of 10 to 30 days is supported by available drydock capacity at one of partner Newport Shipping’s global network of 15 affiliate yards.

Optimarin’s BWTS boasts a strong track record of proven lifecycle reliability from around 1000 installations on all types of vessels. A competitive upfront price and low lifecycle cost also underpin long-term profitability.

“This means Optimarin enables shipowners to keep their fleets running – and avoid running to stand still,” he says.

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