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Optimarin opens new manufacturing base in China

Photo: Optimarin Tore-Andersen-Optimarin.jpeg
Tore Andersen, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Optimarin
Norwegian ballast water system maker, Optimarin, is targeting the heart of the Asian shipbuilding market with a new manufacturing base in China.

The move comes as owners seek to avoid issues with standard shipyard installations and choose systems that are more reliable and come with after-sales service.

Tore Andersen, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, reveals that the company is targeting both the newbuild and retrofit sectors as it emphasises the importance of high quality and reliable components, and ease of installation.

The company is now offering real-time system monitoring with a new cloud-based digital monitoring service, OptiLink. The system provides remote connectivity for software updates and gathers data for more efficient ballasting operations in the future. Over time, the digital setup will be able to highlight regions where ballasting operations may be more challenging.

The company has about 1,500 Optimarin Ballast Systems in operation and expects to fit another 700 or so by the deadline of September next year. However, Andersen expects that some ships will fail to comply by then as a last-minute scramble for systems and yard space soak up available capacity. 

Optimarin has a distinct advantage, he claims, because its modular system is suitable for all vessel types, with substantially lower installation costs and easy commissioning processes. A dual-supplier strategy ensures that systems can be supplied on time.

“The main priorities for yards … are the ability to deliver on time at the lowest cost,” Andersen said. “But we are also seeing a growing tendency where shipowners determine which system they want installed due to historic reliability issues they may have had with other systems.

“We are conducting due diligence when selecting new suppliers to verify that components meet our required high-quality standards and thereby ensure the proven reliability of our robust system is maintained, while making it available at a reasonable price as we expand in this market,” he added.

The ‘retrofit of retrofit’ market is proving an important revenue stream, Andersen said, as standard shipyard installations may lack reliability and often come with virtually no after-sales support.    

Meanwhile, the company offers 24/7 global coverage and spare parts availability. The system has a 30-month service interval but maintenance can be undertaken by ships’ crews owing to its simple construction, straightforward operation, and online support, Andersen said.