Optimarin strengthens its position in the BWTS market with Hyde acquisition

by | 7th June 2024 | Equipment, The Naval Architect - News

Home News Optimarin strengthens its position in the BWTS market with Hyde acquisition

Source: Optimarin

The Norwegian firm says move shows customers that it will continue providing BWTS for many years to come

It seems barely any time at all since IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention entered into force but after the sturm und drang, not to mention prevarication, that accompanied it today’s market for ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) has evolved into a mature and steady demand. According to class society DNV, as recently as 2019 there were around 60 different BWTS that had received IMO type approval, a number never likely to be maintained after the initial installation boom, and increasingly the more established system providers are looking to consolidate their positions through mergers and acquisitions.

In April, Norway-based BWTS provider Optimarin announced it had reached an agreement to acquire rival Hyde Marine UV from its Italian parent company Industrie De Nora S.p.A. Under the deal Optimarin has technologies, intellectual properties and provision of aftermarket services pertaining to the Hyde Marine and Hyde Guardian brands.

“The retrofit boom is over and the future will be the newbuildings and taking care of existing installations,” says Tore Svanheld, who recently joined Optimarin as its new CEO.  “We already have 1,700 systems sold and we want to show customers that we will be one of the main players for BWTS in the future. There are too many suppliers out there today for the newbuildings market.”

Discussions about the acquisition began late last year shortly after De Nora announced plans to close down its marine business. Hyde Marine’s UV-based system, which has been installed on around 600 vessels and has both US Coastguard (USCG) and IMO type approval, represents what Svanheld calls a “huge opportunity” for services and spare parts, as well as expanding Optimarin’s reach in the Asian market. Additionally, Optimarin plans to open new production facilities in Asia in order to better penetrate the Chinese market.

Tore Andersen, Optimarin’s EVP for marketing, adds that as the market adjusts shipowners ordering for newbuildings are looking for reassurance that their chosen system will prove to have some longevity. “With this acquisition we have shown the market that we will have ballast water treatment as a core product in the future.”


Retrofits of retrofits

With a growing number of owners seeking to replace ageing or outdated BWTS, the retrofitting of retrofits is now becoming an important market, particularly with IMO’s deadline for compliance with the more exacting D-2 standard pending in early September.

Andersen comments: “There are quite a few old systems, installed by Hyde but also by other manufacturers, that are too costly to upgrade because there were big changes for all of us in 2018 when IMO revised the G8 [Guidelines]. This will extend the retrofit wave for maybe a half year longer than we would have had on purely Optimarin.

“The retrofit orders we have received this year are for urgent delivery. A lot of owners have their backs to the wall and need to install urgently. Since we have kept our production facilities in Europe we are able to supply these within six weeks, which has given us a lot of sales this year.”

However, Hyde’s system has some notable differences with that of Optimarin and it’s anticipated that the two technologies could be used in tandem as part of the same installation, therefore allowing Optimarin to offer a wider portfolio of solutions.

Andersen explains that while both systems are both UV and filter based their configurations differ somewhat. “The Hyde system’s UV reactor is much smaller and has several lamps fitted into it, making it similar to our main competitor Alfa Laval’s system. That means we have enough space for that UV part on smaller ships, such as the fishing fleet, as previously our lamps were too long to go in there.”

Optimarin has also sought to expand its portfolio and future proof itself with new products, such as an oily water separator and sewage treatment plant.

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