February 6 - Alfa Laval and Optimarin have seen interest in their ballast water treatment systems rise following approval by the US Coast Guard (USCG) in December, 2016.

Alfa Laval's PureBallast 3.1 system has been selected to be retrofitted on 11 ro-ro vessels in Stamco Ship Management's fleet, and the agreement is expected to generate orders worth around EUR2.2 million (USD2.4 million) in the first quarter of 2017.

According to Anders Lindmark, head of Alfa Laval's marine division, the company has seen a clear increase in the number of inquiries about the system following the USCG type approval.

Lindmark adds: "The high interest in PureBallast is a clear sign that the retrofit market is opening up."

Meanwhile Optimarin, which has signed an agreement with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) for the delivery of two 500 cu m/h capacity Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS), has also seen order enquiries rise since securing USCG approval last December.

Last year, fuelled by the USCG certification, the company won contracts for over 120 Ballast Water Management (BWM) units, Optimarin claims. The company's ceo, Tore Andersen, explains: "We were already busy, but since that point enquiries have gone through the roof and our order pipeline is developing at a rate that has surprised even us."

Andersen adds: "With USCG's tough standards and IMO's ratification of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) convention, ballast water treatment (BWT) is an issue that no shipping company can afford to ignore."