Norwegian-based ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist Optimarin delivered more than 60 of its USCG compliant Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) during 2017.
With 2017’s orders accounted for, Optimarin has now sold 550 systems, with around 440 delivered worldwide. Backed by a stable group of investors, with ambitious long-term plans, Andersen believes the next few years will see these numbers increase significantly, as shipowners move to comply with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.
“We’ve been exclusively focused on developing BWT solutions for almost 25 years, but we’ve never been as busy as we were in 2017,” Tore Andersen, Optimarin CEO, said.
In November 2017, Optimarin decided to launch the BWT sector’s first five-year guarantee. This means that if a shipowner signs a fleet agreement with Optimarin for installation on multiple vessels, the company will provide them with a five-year guarantee that covers all parts and servicing, worldwide.
OBS 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.
Optimarin’s fellow BWT system developers, namely Finnish engineering company Wärtsilä and Swedish Alfa Laval AB, also saw stable increases in demand during the year.
Wärtsilä said that its order intake increased 14% to EUR 1,514 million during the fourth quarter of the year, while order intake grew 15% to EUR 5,644 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.
The company said that the demand for its services and solutions in 2018 “is expected to improve somewhat from the previous year.” Demand in Marine Solutions is expected to be solid, as the marine market environment remains challenging due to overcapacity and lack of financing, despite improving sentiment.
Furthermore, Alfa Laval said that 2017 has been a year marked by a broad economic upswing and a stable increase in demand within most sectors. Order intake was at SEK 9,780 million, up by 16%, in the fourth quarter of the year, “which was somewhat higher than expected.”
However, the company said it expects that demand during the first quarter of 2018 “will be somewhat lower than in the fourth quarter.”
The contracting for new ships at the ship yards increased by about 50 percent compared to 2016, resulting in a significant effect on the order intake in the Marine Division during the year as well as in the fourth quarter, when a sequential upturn of 27 percent was reported. The company said that the increase was slightly higher for the full year.