Optimarin partners with Ex-tech Group for explosion-proof Ballast Water Treatment (BWT) system upgrade

Optimarin has entered into a commercial agreement with Ex-tech Group to jointly develop an explosion-proof solution to further enhance its industry-leading ballast water treatment system for effective elimination of invasive aquatic species.

The so-called Ex-d solution will result in a significant upgrade of the UV chamber within the Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) with new Ex-certified UV lamps that emit short-wave radiation to neutralise marine organisms, viruses and bacteria in ballast water after the filtering stage.

“Optimarin has taken the lead with this development project to further improve the robustness of its system in support of enhanced safety and lower maintenance costs,” says Optimarin’s executive vice president supply chain Karl Morten Skjæveland.

Ex-tech Group – an expert and innovator in explosion protection and Ex compliance

Stavanger-based Ex-tech Group, an expert and innovator in explosion protection and Ex compliance,  consciously selected to develop the solution as well as certify, manufacture and supply the UV lamps for integration into the OBS ready for the global market under the partnership with Optimarin. Jan Holm, CEO at Ex-tech Group says that they are proud to have been challenged by Optimarin to use their best of breed competence within Ex, innovation and product development to support Optimarin in their global expansion within the Marine BWT sector.

Tackling invasive species

The UV chamber is a key element in the treatment of ballast water that is “one of the major pathways for the introduction of non-indigenous marine species” from shipping across the globe, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The OBS comprises a backflushing filter that removes larger organisms and particles before the ballast water passes through several UV chambers, each treating up to 167 m3³/h of water with a single 35kW lamp.

The flexible modular construction of the system makes it easy to tailor the number of UV chambers to the ballast water capacity of the vessel, with class-leading redundancy so that if one lamp fails the relevant chamber is shut down and other chambers remains in operation.

System redesign

Skjæveland says the Ex-d solution will result in an evolutionary redesign of the OBS to make it “even more robust, easier to install, more cost-effective and smarter than the previous solution supplied by Optimarin”.

“The UV chamber will from now on be standardized on both Ex and non-Ex systems, and will therefore also be easier to handle for vessel crew operating either system in the fleet as the operation will be similar for both systems,” he explains.

This represents the latest upgrade to the OBS, which is compliant with both IMO and US Coast Guard requirements, as part of Stavanger-based Optimarin’s rigorous product improvement programme.

Reduced footprint

This has resulted in streamlining of the system with simplified smaller components to reduce its footprint, making it easier to install for both retrofits and newbuilds, while cutting the overall cost of manufacture to allow more competitive pricing.

Furthermore, the recently launched OptiLink™ cloud-based digital solution has improved the efficiency of the system by enabling remote maintenance and 24/7 online support as well as data analytics for fleet-wide ballast water management, while also greatly easing compliance reporting.

Optimarin is seeing a rising number of orders for the OBS as a result of a rush to retrofit existing vessels to meet the 2024 deadline for implementation of the IMO’s ballast water management convention, with more than 1200 systems sold to date of which 900 are installed on vessels.


For further details please contact:

Karl Morten Skjæveland, EVP supply chain

E-mail: kmskjaveland@optimarin.com

Mobile: +47 917 54 546


Jan Holm, Group CEO
E-mail: jan.holm@ex-tech.no

Mobile: +47 906 41 133