Ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist Optimarin has announced that it has received full EX approval for a modified version of its market proven Optimarin Ballast System (OBS).
The approval means the Norway-based company can now target the chemical tanker segment, augmenting the 310-unit orders it has already received and increasing a market share that currently stands at about 10%.
Optimarin’s specially engineered EX model meets with stringent Zone 1 ATEX requirements, making it suitable for installation on-board a wide variety of tankers carrying flammable or explosive materials. Using the same proven technology as the standard OBS, inactivating marine organisms through filtration and high doses of UV irradiation, the EX design offers a refined configuration, whereby the power supply is positioned outside potentially hazardous areas.
According to Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen, it’s what the industry has been waiting for.
Andersen said: "The tanker market is a business area where we see real growth potential for the OBS.
"We have demonstrated that our technology is easy to install, simple to maintain and, crucially, extremely reliable. These are all factors that appeal to a segment where competition is fierce and efficiency is key.
"We offer a solution that is focused on quality, safety and the highest operating standards, and tanker owners, operators and yards will appreciate that fact."
Optimarin has built a strong market position since installing the world’s first BWT system on cruise ship Regal Princess in 2000. It has now fitted 180 units on vessels worldwide, with more than 130 in the orderbook, for owners of the calibre of Evergreen, British Royal Navy, Technip, and Grieg Shipping Group, among others.
The OBS EX compliance supplements existing IMO approval, USCG AMS acceptance, and system certification through DNV GL, BV, RMRS and CCS.
Andersen added: " We aim to offer our customers complete compliance and reliability of results. This is another demonstration of our commitment to ensure that as many owners as possible can take advantage of a proven system in a sector that is still, for many people, defined by uncertainty."
Optimarin’s EX system can be used in all Zone 1 hazardous areas and conforms to explosion group II and temperature class T3.