Norwegian ballast water treatment system manufacturer Optimarin has acquired the Hyde Marine brand from Italy’s De Nora, as it looks to expand its product portfolio. 

The company has purchased the technologies, trademarks and selected assets of the Hyde Marine and Hyde Guardian UV ballast water treatment technology brands but will not directly take on any of the brand’s staff. 

Optimarin CEO Tore Svanheld, who joined the company at the beginning of the year, said that it was important for the business to find ways to grow as the boom seen in the retrofit market for ballast water treatment systems came to an end. 

During a press conference about the acquisition, Svanheld and Tore Andersen, executive vice president of marketing, said that the addition of Hyde Marine’s assets would allow Optimarin to look closely at the new build market in Asia. 

Speaking to Ship Technology, Svanheld hinted that the acquisition may not be the only one for the company as it looks to expand its product range: “We have plans to grow further, let me put it like that.” He said. 

Addressing the future of the retrofit market for ballast water treatment systems, Optimarin said that it was now seeing an increase in orders for “retrofits of retrofits” as companies sought to upgrade their now aging systems. 

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Ship owners have been urgently addressing older treatment systems on board their vessels as they seek to ensure that they are compliant with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) BWM Convention, which will come into full force for all vessels on 8 September 2024. 

The acquisition comes as the ballast water treatment industry, which was once booming when the IMO first discussed the idea of regulations against dumping untreated ballast water, adapts to a slowing retrofit market with Optimarin saying that Hyde Marine, which sells a similar system to its own, will bring around 600 new customers to its business. 

Discussing the potential issues of adapting to an intake of hundreds of new customers, Svanheld said that the Norwegian company may take on some of the Hyde Marine staff that will be laid off from De Nora as a result of the acquisition but did not provide exact details about how many people it could hire.