Royal Netherlands Navy and Optimarin join forces to combat biological invasion

The Royal Netherlands Navy has awarded OptiMarin a major contract for the delivery of two sets of OptiMarin Ballast System (OBS) for supply-class HrMS Amsterdam, a multi-purpose supply ship transporting fuel, ammunition and supplies.

“We have to ensure, by adoption of appropriate measures not impairing operations or operational capabilities of warships owned or operated by the navy, that warships act in a manner consistent, so far as reasonable and practicable, with the Ballast Water Convention,” said a Dutch Navy spokesperson.

Though primarily resupplying Dutch or Allied fleets at sea with fuel, lubricants, foodstuffs, clothing, ammunition and spare parts, HrMS Amsterdam is also involved in disaster relief and humanitarian aid. Earlier this year in January, the Dutch Navy participated in humanitarian assistance operations in Haiti.

Cooperation with NATO, UN or the EU, is an important part of the Dutch Navy’s international activities.

Dutch Navy vessels may be commissioned at any time to operate in international waters. Therefore, it is imperative that when handling ballast water it does so in compliance with international regulations stipulated by the International Maritime Organization.

Ballast water is one of the major pathways of biological invasion throughout the world. OptiMarin’s IMO-approved ballast water treatment system helps ensure that the Dutch Navy has the desired positive environmental impact and guards against any adverse effect of invasive marine species.

“The evaluation of ballast water management alternatives requires a broad range of technical considerations to meet the ship’s specification and operational requirements,” said the Dutch Navy representative.

The HrMS Amsterdam contract, the largest retrofit ever for OptiMarin, consists of the supply and installation of two sets of OptiMarin Ballast Systems, each with a treatment capacity up to 334 m3/h.

The type approved OptiMarin Ballast System is a mechanical filtering system that does not have chemical, electrochemical or biochemical effect on the environment. The system also does not affect the operation of other shipboard facilities. It is noiseless and easy in installation on the vessels under construction or on those already in operation, and features small dimensions and low weight.

OptiMarin’s scope of work includes technical consultation, design configuration, engineering, delivery and mechanical assembly of the complete BWT system.

“We are pleased that the Royal Netherlands Navy has recognized our ballast water treatment expertise. Given the extensive development, testing and flexibility of our BWT system, we are confident that OptiMarin not only meets but exceeds the strict requirements of the Dutch Navy and global regulators,” says OptiMarin’s managing director, Pål Sanner.

“This contract confirms that OptiMarin is fully capable of being the first point of contact for all ballast water treatment needs, providing a full turnkey package from conception through to installation,” says Sanner.

Since the beginning of 2010, OptiMarin has received a total of ten orders for its BWT system and confirms the requirements of the Dutch navy were very comprehensive, requiring full-scale effort by the total OptiMarin organisation.

“OptiMarin supplied detailed information to the Dutch Navy during the pre-tender, tender and contractual phases. The process was very demanding, ” says Tor Øystein Kleppa, Sales Development Manager, OptiMarin.

Kleppa confirms that OptiMarin will head the installation process and sees the OptiMarin systems installation flexibility as key to winning the contract.

“The retrofit project will take place during docking in 2011. OptiMarin’s flexible BWT system was easily configured to the narrow space available on this defense vessel. Overall simplicity of our system, combined with a small footprint are an advantage to achieve this,” he says..

According to Kleppa, the contract positions OptiMarin for a greater share of the total retrofit BWT market.

“There are a growing number of BWT suppliers, but few can match our ability to tailor-make solutions for existing vessels. We are able to configure BWT systems in ship areas considered impossible by many of our competitors. In the past six months we have registered a growing interest by shipowners and yards worldwide for our retrofit and newbuild BWT solutions,” he says.