Newport Shipping and Optimarin teamwork to tackle ‘tsunami’ of BWT system orders

Source: press release, 29 June 2021

Newport Shipping has access to a wide global network of partner shipyards, including PaxOcean Zhoushan Shipyard in China
Newport Shipping has access to a wide global network of partner shipyards, including PaxOcean Zhoushan Shipyard in China (photo: Newport Shipping)

Newport Shipping has sold the first ballast water treatment system from key supplier Optimarin under their strategic alliance as the pair target an expected rush of retrofits for such systems, with time running out for shipowners ahead of an IMO deadline for compliance.

Around 35,000 vessels still need to install ballast water treatment (BWT) systems, according to Clarksons Research, with only 40 months remaining until a September 2024 deadline for all ships to comply with the IMO’s so-called D2 standard for ballast water discharges.

Consequently, a reported “tsunami” of retrofit orders is anticipated within this time-frame that would effectively require global yards to carry out 875 BWT system installations per month – a roughly 700% increase on the level of recent years.

This could lead to a massive bottleneck due to limited yard capacity, driving up both equipment and installation costs, and tempt hard-pressed shipowners to select less competent yards and suppliers with sub-standard equipment and a lack of after-sales support in order to get the job done in time.

Demand boom
“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,” warns Lianghui Xia, managing director of UK-based ship repair and retrofit group Newport Shipping.

Anticipating this boom in demand, Newport Shipping has earlier joined forces with Norwegian ballast water treatment specialist Optimarin, a global supplier of advanced BWT systems.

This enables Newport Shipping to offer shipowners a turnkey package for BWT system retrofits – from project management to installation and compliance testing – as part of a drydocking stay for repair or class renewal work, with available capacity at its 15 partner yards worldwide for fast turnaround.

Newport Shipping also offers deferred payment typically for up to 60% of the total cost of a BWT retrofit over a period of up to 24 months, subject to a credit assessment. In addition, retrofits and other drydocking services can be booked online via its Newport Maritime Services platform.

The yard-supplier partnership has now secured the first order for the Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) from a well-known German shipowner, with other potential orders in the pipeline.

Rapid delivery
Optimarin has so far delivered around 800 such systems, with another 400 on order, and the flexible modular design of the OBS makes it easy to install and adaptable for a wide range of ship types, with the supplier able to deliver at short notice within only 10 days of the order date.

Its advanced system, with a high level of redundancy, is based on proven technology being constantly developed after more than 20 years of reliable operation and is supported by a global after-sales service network.

Operation and maintenance of the OBS has been significantly enhanced by the recent launch of the OptiLink™ cloud-based digital solution that facilitates remote troubleshooting 24/7 and data analytics for fleet-wide ballast-water management, which is incorporated in a new service frame agreement.

Optimarin’s executive vice president of sales & marketing Tore Andersen says shipowners need to consider not just the price of equipment but also lifecycle costs in selecting a BWT system.

“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,” Andersen says.