Optimarin is eyeing a Spanish market fiesta for its leading ballast water treatment system (BWTS) after bringing onboard Madrid-based Llalco Fluid Technology to boost regional sales.
Llalco has been appointed to act as agent for Optimarin under a newly minted agreement that will significantly expand the Norwegian ballast water treatment specialist’s global market reach into the Iberian Peninsula and South America.
“This part of the world is clearly an important market for us and represents a vast region for potential new sales, with possible orders already in the pipeline,” says Optimarin’s executive vice president of sales & marketing Tore Andersen.
He describes the pact as a “win-win deal” for both parties as Optimarin will be able to take advantage of Llalco’s extensive regional client portfolio while the agent will be able to offer to clients Optimarin’s industry-proven BWTS, supported by a worldwide service network.
“Our system is well-suited to the client profile in the markets served by Llalco so this is really a perfect fit. The agreement gives us a strong regional presence backed by Llalco’s well-established reputation in these markets,” he adds.
Llalco, founded in 1997, has a strong track record in delivering a range of marine technologies – including ballast water treatment, corrosion protection and scrubbers – designed to protect the environment for the shipping industry. It is also a supplier to the rail industry.
Its chief executive Javier Llamas sees the partnership with Optimarin as a significant upgrade on Llalco’s product and service offering in the area of ballast water treatment, having introduced the first such solution into the Spanish market 15 years ago.
Optimarin’s advanced modular BWTS uses automatic back flushing, self-cleaning filters and powerful UV irradiation to neutralise all potentially invasive species before release from ballast tanks into seawater.
The system, which has gained key EX approvals from the IMO and US Coast Guard, is designed for simplicity, operational flexibility, redundancy and reliability with highly competitive lifecycle costs as shipowners pursue compliance with the IMO’s ballast water convention ahead of a 2024 deadline.
The BWTS has demonstrated proven performance from over 800 systems installed worldwide after Optimarin pioneered development of the first commercial system back in 2000, with another 1100-plus systems on order.
Llamas says Optimarin brings continuity and a strong reputation for Llalco to market high-end ballast water treatment systems to its clientele of shipowners, shipyards and engineering firms, while also enabling it to provide technical support for both new and existing customers.
“I wish to thank both our clients that we have served as consultants over the years and Optimarin for giving us this new opportunity,” he says.
“Llalco has now gained a world-leading ballast water treatment system supplier and, aligned with our own marketing expertise, this creates a strong team with a firm foundation for future sales growth.
“We are confident that, with the approaching IMO deadline for compliance, this partnership has been forged at the right time to promote the Optimarin BWTS to a wider market given the high demand for efficient and well-functioning systems for ballast water treatment,” Llamas says.
Much of this demand is based on vessel retrofits as the system’s modular design makes it flexible and easy to install on any vessel.
Optimarin has so far this year notched up orders for more than 100 BWTSs as it rides a wave of vessel retrofits due to the need for operators to gain regulatory compliance for their fleets.
The reorientation of the shipping industry towards environment-friendly operations is set to underpin further ordering activity for Optimarin’s system going forward, bolstered by the latest Spanish market expansion.
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