BALLAST water treatment specialist Optimarin has been awarded a contract to supply 36 BWT systems to Bermuda's Ardmore Shipping, marking one of its biggest orders to date.
The units will be fitted across 18 advanced chemical and product tankers, with delivery due to begin in February 2019. Ardmore will fit two units in each vessel.
'We have 10 vessels with alternative systems that were installed at newbuild shipyards and have encountered a series of operational problems,' states Ardmore director Gerry Docherty. '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 [US Coast Guard] 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.'
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.
'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,' said Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen. 'It clearly illustrates the momentum we are now building as forward-thinking shipowners move early to comply with IMO regulations and safeguard the environment.
The OBS units 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.