The increased focus on the environment is forcing the industry to change

Energy

The easy choice for a difficult task

Oceans play an important role in the global economy

February 28, 2022

Optimarin

Leiv Kallestad
CEO

Optimarin

The easy choice for a difficult task

Oceans play an important role in the global economy

January 22, 2021

Optimarin

Leiv Kallestad
CEO

Our oceans provide us with water, transportation, and food. With 71% of the world comprised of water, and with more than 15% of commercial meats consisting of sea life, protecting marine biodiversity is crucial. Annually, over 50,000 cargo ships travel the world, delivering anything from life-changing medicines to clothes for children; cargo ships are responsible for world trade as it exists today. However, while the shipping industry provides many benefits by transporting goods around the globe, it is also responsible for negative effects on marine environments due to the discharge of ballast water from the many vessels in the ocean. Based in Norway, ballast water treatment pioneer, Optimarin, has been developing solutions to this problem for over 25 years.

Optimarin was founded in 1994 with a vision to be one of the first in the world to provide environmentally friendly treatment of ballast water. Ballast water is necessary to stabilise a ship. It is pumped onboard in one place and discharged in another. However, this water contains living organisms, and when these are released into new habitats they become “invasive species” which can devastate local environments – outcompeting native species and damaging infrastructure and livelihoods. It is an issue that must be addressed. Optimarin does so with its simple, effective and market-proven Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS).

Optimarin’s technology initially removes larger organisms and particles via filtering, back-flushing them overboard at the ballasting location. Once through the filter, the ballast water continues through an ultra-violet (UV) chamber on its way to the ballast tanks. The UV light eliminates the organisms, viruses, and bacteria in the ballast water. The filter is automatically bypassed during de-ballasting, and the water receives a second UV-treatment during discharge as a safeguard to ensure compliance with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Convention.

Since Optimarin’s inception, it has established itself as an industry leader, becoming the first company in the world to satisfy stringent United States Coast Guard requirements and receive full system approval.

In 2004, to react to growing concerns about the environmental impact of ballast water discharge, the IMO adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments to control the environmental damage from ballast water. Optimarin has been installing its BWTS and filters since 2000, fulfilling its vision through innovation and commitment, providing reliable technology and unparalleled expertise in its field. The increased focus on the environment is forcing the industry to change, says CEO Leiv Kallestad. Implementation of these devices set out in the Convention will mean that compliance will need to be phased in by September 2024. Taking action now is crucial for both the environment, and for global trade.

Oceans play an important role in the global economy, our way of living, and the very ecosystem of the planet. Global initiatives and international standards are contributing to making the industry – and the world – more sustainable. Optimarin’s dedication to the environment and to the shipping industry goes further, through industry partnerships and unrivalled network support, this industry leader does not simply sell a product, it solves a problem.

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