The Optimarin Ballast System effectively cleans ballast water without chemicals, dramatically reducing the threat posed by invasive aquatic species.
About 80 per cent of world trade is transported by ship, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Each year, this results in ships transferring 10 billion metric tons of ballast water between oceans or regions, with 7 000 species transferred every hour.
Ballast water is essential to safe, efficient shipping, providing balance and stability to unladen vessels. It is, however, a means of spreading invasive aquatic species – one of the greatest threats to the world’s oceans.
The Optimarin Ballast System uses filters and UV treatment to kill or inactivate marine organisms, viruses and bacteria in ballast water. No chemicals are used or harmful residual products left behind.
The system features a pressure flow valve for full control of both flow and pressure, as well as a touchscreen interface for easy control of operation.
The system was approved in 2009 in accordance with Guideline 8 for the implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments.
In 2016, it became the first ballast water treatment system to be approved by the US Coast Guard.
It also complies with the requirements of the EU’s ATEX Directive on equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres and is approved for use in Zone 1.
The Optimarin Ballast System is highly effective, removing more than 99.9 per cent of certain species of plankton. It requires minimal maintenance and is self-cleaning, with no moving parts.
The system can be installed on both newbuilds and retrofits, and tailored to user needs.
Optimarin recently released OptiLink 2.0, a software solution that helps vessel managers to optimise their ballast operations in order to reduce port time, save fuel and reduce time at sea.
Optimarin has also introduced a new CIP (cleaning-in-place) unit and new EX (explosion safe) solutions in 2022.
In 2021, the IMO created the D2 Ballast Water Performance Standard, which will come into effect in September 2024. According to this standard any vessel trading internationally will have to have a ballast water treatment system installed within the next two years.
As of September 2022, there are about 30 000 vessels that will need to have a system installed. Optimarin is one of the key players in this market with a tried and tested, high-quality solution.
Founded in 1994 in Stavanger, Norway, Optimarin was one of the first companies in the world to develop a system for environment-friendly purification of ballast water. It continues to improve and expand its offering.