Norwegian ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist Optimarin has secured a two-system contract with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The agreement, which will see two 500 m³/h capacity Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) fitted on a single clean products barge, further underlines the firm’s segment leadership ahead of its imminent USCG approval.
“The ability to trade in US waters is key to global shipowners who want flexibility for their fleets,” comments Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen. “Our success in satisfying all of USCG’s stringent testing requirements demonstrates that we are the clear choice for businesses, like FBS’ valued customers, who want compliant, quality and care-free operations in national waters and beyond.
“Our system is technically proven, with almost 300 units installed worldwide, and number one for compliance. That is a key selling point for owners and yards that want their vessels to meet all regulatory demands now and into the future. We’re very pleased to confirm this latest contract with FBS and hope to announce more agreements with shipowners trading in US waters soon.”
The two new systems will be installed on FBS Hull 785, a 185,000 barrel capacity barge, for delivery in November 2017. US convenience retail chain Wawa, which has more than 645 stores (over 365 with petrol forecourts), is the end customer. Alternative Marine Technologies (AMTECH) of Stamford, Connecticut, will control project management and construction supervision, with class by ABS and USCG inspection.
Optimarin submitted its final documentation for USCG type approval in late September – a move that John Mauger, Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Center (MSC), called “an important milestone” for protecting US waterways.
The firm, which has currently received orders for nearly 500 of its environmentally friendly UV-based systems, expects to hear confirmation of approval within the next few weeks.
This, Andersen confirms, is helping drive Optimarin to new heights within the industry:
“We’ve focused exclusively on BWT since our formation in 1994,” he comments, “so our expertise is second to none and our technology has a proven track record of success. The USCG development is really pushing awareness of our offer onto another level though, with sales up over 200% year-on-year and around 120 systems ordered in 2016 alone.
“We’re having notable successes with yards, like FBS, while our partnerships with global engineering leaders Goltens and Zeppelin, alongside the flexible and modular nature of our system, means we’re the first choice in our segments for retrofit.
“With the recent ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention this is a crucial time for the industry. We’re proud to be in a position where we can help shipowners solve compliance issues, and achieve problem free BWT operation, worldwide.”
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.
In addition to FBS, Optimarin has received orders from a wide range of shipowners, operators and yards this year, including Atlantis Tankers, Vard Group, Saga Shipholding, Fisherman’s Finest, Solvang ASA, and Carisbrooke.