UK-based ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) manufacturer Coldharbour Marine has opened a new office in Singapore, signalling the start of what the company says is its 'planned expansion into the Asian market'.
As managing director of Coldharbour Asia, the group appointed master mariner Captain Mohit Batra, who said the timing of the expansion reflected the company's expectations for 2019.
“We have timed the new Singapore set-up in advance of being awarded US Coast Guard type approval which we expect to receive in 2019," Captain Batra said, "and it is next year that we expect the ballast water treatment installation market to take off strongly."
Captain Batra said Coldharbour had identified a significant volume of vessels in the large tanker, bulk carrier and LNG vessel market sectors 'for which owners will need to plan [BWTS] installations from 2019 onwards'.
"Many of these retrofit projects will be undertaken in Chinese shipyards," he said, "whilst we will also be supplying treatment systems for new ships under construction at yards across Asia.”
This, Captain Batra said, made Singapore an 'obvious' strategic location for the company to anchor its expansion.
"We will be working closely with many ship operators and management companies which have chosen Singapore as their Asian base,” he said. “We will also be establishing close links with the Chinese shipyards where many of the large vessels in our target market are likely to be retrofitted. From here, we will be ideally placed to coordinate and support ballast water system installations on both existing ships and newbuildings."
Captain Batra comes to Coldharbour Marine in Singapore with more than 20 years' experience in the shipping industry. He has held posts with classification society ABS and marine technology company Wärtsilä, among others.