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Treatment System Sales Boom As Ballast Water Rules Take Effect

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By The Maritime Executive 2019-10-25 23:12:30

As the rolling deadline for ballast water treatment compliance closes in for existing ships, demand for treatment systems is booming, according to Norway-based manufacturer Optimarin. The company's sales more than doubled in the third quarter relative to the same period last year, lifted by several new fleet agreements with owners and operators. 

The IMO ballast water management convention limits the concentration of viable marine organisms and certain bacteria in discharged ballast water (the D-2 standard). The great majority of merchant ships will have to install treatment systems to meet that standard. 

For most existing vessels, the compliance deadline is contingent upon the timing of the first IOPP renewal survey after September 2019 - a date which could be as early as this month and as late as September 2024. ClassNK estimates that for vessels in its fleet which have not yet completed an installation, the highest number of retrofits will occur in 2022. "As difficulties are expected in the installation of BWMS if everyone around the world waits until 2022, ClassNK recommends installing well in advance," ClassNK wrote in a recent client advisory. 

“September’s IMO D-2 deadline for BWT compliance has created, quite rightly, a sense of urgency in the market, and we are now seeing more activity than ever before,” said Leiv Kallestad, Optimarin CEO. 

Optimarin's latest deals include a 30-unit contract for Asiatic Lloyd's fleet of container ships. This fleet contract will see installations on a rolling timeline, beginning the end of this year and stretching through 2022. 

The company says that it has completed almost 200 retrofit installations to date, and some of the orders coming in today are from repeat customers. “This is perhaps the best endorsement of both the technology and our service standards," said Kallestad. "Shipowners order, install and operate our systems and are so pleased with the results they return."