The US Coast Guard (USCG) has awarded its first ballast water management system (BWMS) type-approval certificate to Optimarin of Norway for its Optimarin Ballast System (OBS). Speaking to BWTT today, Optimarin’s chief executive Tore Andersen said: “we have known for a week that it has been in the pipeline and confirmation was received by email earlier today (2 December).”
Yet just last week (23 November), Cmdr Meridena Kauffman, environmental standards officer at the USCG had told a seminar organised by the UK Chamber of Shipping that she hoped the first approval would be soon but added: “I don’t know what soon means.”
Mr Andersen told BWTT the company “expects this to be the ticket to get more orders” but was confident it has sufficient capacity “to increase deliveries as far as the market is willing to purchase.”
In a media statement he said this was “a huge day for our company, and our customers.” He noted that the USCG “has the world’s most stringent testing standards, meaning once a system has approval it is assured of total global compliance, now and into the future.”
Mr Andersen recalled that when the company became the first to submit an application, in September, John Mauger, commanding officer of the USCG’s Marine Safety Center, had described that moment as “a milestone in the fight to protect marine biodiversity in US waters.”
“We’ve been working on developing simple, flexible and reliable BWT technology for over 20 years now,” said Mr Andersen. “This approval is a reward for all that hard work.”
He reported that over 300 OBS units have been installed worldwide out of a total of 500 units ordered. “With this approval confirmation we expect the business to move even further ahead and consolidate our leading position,” he said in his statement.
The Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) utilises a combination of filtration and powerful 35kW UV lamps to treat ballast water without the need for chemicals. DNV GL tested the system to USCG standards for fresh, brackish and marine water at the NIVA test facility in Norway.