Optimarin targeting more retrofit orders with market expansion

Norway-based ballast water treatment specialist Optimarin is establishing a manufacturing base in China to boost the availability of its ballast water treatment system (BWTS) for the Asian shipbuilding market as it also targets further retrofits of the existing fleet.


Norwegian BWTS supplier is now pursuing partnerships with several Chinese suppliers to focus on production of BWTS components for delivery to regional yards, according to Optimarin’s Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing Tore Andersen.

“We are conducting due diligence when selecting new suppliers to verify that components meet our required high-quality standards and thereby ensure the proven reliability of our robust system is maintained, while making it available at a reasonable price as we expand in this market,” he said.

Andersen believes Optimarin is well-placed to secure newbuild orders for its BWTS as the flexible modular system can be easily installed on all types of vessels 

The company’s Optimarin Ballast System, which can be delivered as a compact skid-mounted solution, has verified compliance with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, as well as with US Coast Guard type approval.

The shipbuilding industry has seen a resurgence of ordering activity as global trade has rebounded in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with an increasing shift towards green-fuelled newbuilds due to new environmental regulations.

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Lower-cost Asian yards – mainly in China, South Korea and Japan – have secured 70% to 80% of orders for vessels in various segments including containerships, bulkers, tankers and LNG carriers that are currently under construction, with scheduled delivery in the 2025-2027 timeframe.

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Andersen points out that these newbuilds will have to be delivered with an IMO-compliant BWTS installed to meet regulatory requirements.

Further on, he believes that, due to high demand for ships being built in China, having a local supplier presence in China will give Optimarin a “big market advantage” in terms of competitive price and short delivery time for yards, while it also provides expertise in the project development phase and can assist with a ballast water management plan.

The company’s system was also enhanced with OptiLink, a cloud-based digital application that enables real-time monitoring of the BWTS, data generation for improved planning of ballasting operations and remote connectivity for online software updates of the system, as well as data-sharing for compliance.

Optimarin is meanwhile still focusing on the busy retrofit market where it aims to sell as many as 700 systems over the next two years, backed up by a fast-track delivery model to meet the IMO deadline, according to Andersen.