Optimarin has signed a contract to supply seven of its USCG-approved Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) to Fednav, Canada's largest ocean-going dry-bulk shipowning and chartering group. Five of the units will be fitted on existing vessels within the 63-strong Fednav fleet, with two deliveries set for newbuilds. The order comes on top of agreements for five units made last year, signalling a growing relationship between the two market leaders.
“Fednav is an established, family-owned and first class supplier of innovative maritime transport solutions within the dry-bulk niche,” comments Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen. “With customers and routes in North America and around the world, the firm is dedicated to providing optimal service and requires proven ballast water treatment (BWT) systems that ensure complete global compliance.
“They initially ordered one retrofit and four newbuild units last year and have now decided to roll out further installations. In a technology segment that is still in its infancy, with varying degrees of reliability, Fednav, along with other leading shipowners, are opting for a system they know they can trust.”
With recent orders for multiple systems from Höegh Autoliners, Ardmore and USCG (for their new Offshore Patrol Cutter programme), Optimarin is moving closer to the 700 units sold mark, with more than 500 installed and operational. Dana Wandschneider, Fednav’s Manager, Owned Fleet, says this proven pedigree, alongside full IMO and USCG approval, was a key factor in the initial decision making process. Since then the company’s attitude and professionalism has led the working relationship to blossom.
He notes: “Open, honest and straightforward communication has been the core of our relationship with Optimarin. We operate our vessels in a wide variety of conditions and locations worldwide, making ballast water treatment a complex procedure. Optimarin has been committed to understanding our challenges and, when necessary, works towards improving their system based on user feedback.
“As a company we are committed to delivering a higher standard of quality and environmental stewardship. We create and institute rigorous controls and processes, implementing and carefully leveraging technology and developing strategic partnerships with other industry leaders, like Optimarin, to provide the best results for our stakeholders and society in general. We always look to work with suppliers that share these core values.”
Fednav has been in operation for the past 75 years, building a network of offices on four continents and a leading position in both international shipping as well as on the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes. With extensive activity in the Canadian Arctic, the company currently boasts the world’s largest fleet of ice-class bulk carriers.
Optimarin made its initial retrofit delivery to Fednav earlier this year, with global engineering partner Goltens installing an OBS on Federal Kumano at MPG Dolphin Shipyard in Varna, Bulgaria. The first newbuild orders concerned projects at Oshima shipyard in Japan.
OBS has now been successfully retrofitted in over 200 vessels. The system has certification from a comprehensive range of classification organizations, including ABS, BV, DNV-GL, LR & MLIT Japan. Current customers include GulfMark, Hapag Lloyd, Matson Navigation, McDermott, MOL, Saga Shipholding, Seatruck, Technip, and the Royal Netherlands Navy.