A strategic alliance between privately owned Norwegian ballast water system manufacturer, Optimarin, and UK-based Newport Shipping could ease pressure on ship operators who have not yet installed ballast water treatment systems (BWTS).

The new partners are offering a turnkey package, including system supply, project management, installation oversight, and compliance testing. Ideally, the process should be undertaken as part of a routine drydocking for repairs or surveys, the companies said.  

According to some estimates, as many as 35,000 ships still require system installations between now and September 2024. That is the date by which ships will need to comply with the IMO’s latest D2 standard. Failure to do so will result in non-compliance, more inspections, and possible port delays.

The urgency is likely to lead to a squeeze on ship repair capacity, experts warn, with equipment supply issues and rising prices. Peak requirements, according to some estimates, are likely in 2022 but the following 20 months will also, inevitably, be very busy.

Lianghui Xia, Managing Director of UK-based ship repair and retrofit group which has links with 15 ship repair facilities in various regions, warned: “Shipowners are running the risk of leaving it too late. There is a real sense of urgency for shipowners to start planning now for installation of BWT systems to avoid a negative impact on price, quality, and delivery.”

Optimarin’s Tore Andersen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, added: “Optimarin’s partnership with Newport gives shipowners both flexibility in securing yard capacity for timely BWT retrofits, and a proven quality system as part of a turnkey package with strong after-sales follow-up for long-term peace of mind.”

The Norwegian company recently launched OptiLink, the sector’s first digital ballast water management system, providing 24/7 online troubleshooting and data analytics for fleet-wide ballast water management.

Meanwhile, Newport offers ship operators access to Newport Marine Services’ online platform for booking retrofits, together with other drydocking services. The company is also offering deferred payment terms for qualifying ship operators – typically 60% of a ballast water retrofit over a period of up to 24 months.

Optimarin and Newport have already signed the first order for a German shipowner and have negotiations on more deals in progress.

Source: Seatrade Maritime