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Optimarin reveals post Ballast Water Convention strategy

Photo: Optimaron Optimarin CEO Tore Svanheld
Norwegian ballast water system manufacturer, Optimarin, has acquired Hyde Marine, part of Italy’s Industrie De Nora as the company lays out its corporate development strategy.

Hyde Marine manufactures the Hyde Marine and Hyde Guardian brands of ballast water management systems.

Optimarin has not revealed details of the deal, but the new CEO, Tore Svanheld, who took up his position on 1 January, and long-time Tore Andersen, Executive Vice President, did unveil key points in the company’s strategy.

The business plan is now in place in preparation for the IMO’s Ballast Water Convention’s entry into force on 8 September no less than 20 years after it was adopted in 2024. The Hyde acquisition will boost Optimarin’s installed fleet by about 600 ships, close to a third of its existing book, taking to company’s portfolio close to 2,500 vessels.

But the installed fleet is only part of the story and the Hyde acquisition will underpin the next phase of corporate development. Despite the disappearance of a number of manufacturers, the Optimarin executives have revealed a significant expansion strategy for the company’s business in both product range and geographical reach. Other shipboard plant will now be available – oily water separators and sewage treatment plants, for example – but ballast water will remain the key focus.

Andersen explained how the acquisition will boost revenues. The future may focus on newbuildings, he said, but the company’s ‘retrofit of retrofits’ strategy is a key element. Many ballast water systems in operation today don’t work properly or are out of service.

“Some are so old that it’s too costly to upgrade,” Andersen said. “Lots of owners have their back to the wall … with no escape route. They need a system within a few weeks or months.”

The 600-ship Hyde portfolio of perhaps more than a hundred owners and operators will open a new market – both in terms of service, retrofits, and new ship installations as owners renew their fleets. With this future market in mind, Optimarin has established a production plant in China liaising with the country’s shipbuilders and repair yards as well as overseas owners.

“We celebrated our 30-year anniversary last Monday,” Andersen told journalists. “But we plan to be here for the next 30 too.”