Optimarin has secured one of its biggest orders to date with the news that the ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist has been selected to supply 36 systems to Ardmore Shipping. The units will be fitted across 18 advanced chemical and product tankers, with delivery due to commence in February next year.
Ardmore, an established leader in its niche, will fit two Ex approved units in each vessel. The Irish-headquartered firm was attracted by Optimarin’s simple, reliable and easy to install technology, alongside its lengthy track record of segment expertise.
This helped reassure a shipowner that, until now, has not enjoyed a positive BWT experience. “We have ten vessels with alternative systems that were installed at newbuild shipyards and have encountered a series of operational problems,” states Gerry Docherty, Director, Fleet Management, Ardmore. “These issues, which we believe are commonplace within the industry, impact heavily on system reliability.
“As such we conducted a lengthy review of technology for the new installations and that led us to Optimarin. USCG compliance was key, as we are always ready to operate in US waters, reliability was paramount and a strong, professional relationship was crucial. This is not a one off purchase, but a long-term partnership we’re entering into whereby we need to rely on our supplier’s expertise, technical understanding and ability to deliver on promises. Optimarin with its proven track record, technology and commitment to this segment was the clear choice.”
Docherty adds: “Ardmore is a responsible shipowner focused on achieving the best operating practices, customer service and efficiency. To meet these standards we need suppliers that deliver quality, compliance and optimal performance, always. With Optimarin we’re now confident we have a long-term partner we can trust.”
Ardmore’s decision follows on the heels of the announcement that USCG will be using Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) on its next generation Offshore Patrol Cutters. According to Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen it helps consolidate a remarkable month for the business.
“To secure a contract of this nature, from an owner of Ardmore’s standing, so soon after the USCG decision is a dream come true,” he notes. “It clearly illustrates the momentum we are now building as forward thinking shipowners move early to comply with IMO regulations and safeguard the environment.
“Our track record of reliability, our 100% focus on BWT, and our long-term vision, backed by five-year parts and servicing guarantees for framework agreements, is positioning us as the first choice for leaders in the shipping industry. That clearly describes Ardmore, and we’re looking forward to providing them with globally compliant, proven and effective OBS across their first class portfolio.”
Ardmore’s fleet ranges in size from 25,000 to 50,000 dwt. The firm transports petroleum products and chemicals worldwide with its modern, fuel-efficient mid-size tankers.
The OBS units, the first systems in the market to achieve full USCG approval, will be fitted on a rolling basis across a selection of strategic partner shipyards with whom Ardmore has existing relationships. Once completed, the contract will take the number of Optimarin systems retrofitted beyond the 200 mark. The firm, which has been exclusively focused on BWT since its formation in 1994, has now sold over 650 systems with over 500 installed and operating.
Optimarin’s UV-based systems satisfy all IMO and USCG requirements, with certification from a comprehensive range of classification organizations, including ABS, BV, DNV-GL, LR & MLIT Japan. Notable customers include GulfMark, Hapag Lloyd, Matson Navigation, McDermott, MOL, Saga Shipholding, Seatruck, Technip & The Royal Netherlands Navy.