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NIVA's collaborator Optimarin first BWT system supplier to obtain USCG approval

On December 2nd 2016, the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center issued the first U.S. Coast Guard Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) Type Approval Certificate to Norwegian manufacturer Optimarin AS after a detailed review of the type approval application determined the system met the requirements. The system has been tested in close cooperation with NIVA.

The development, which adds to IMO approval and certification from a host of classification societies, means Optimarin’s environmentally friendly UV-based technology now leads the market in terms of global compliance.

- This is a huge day for our company, and our customers, says Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen.

- US Coast Guard has the world’s most stringent testing standards, meaning that once a system has approval it is assured of total global compliance, now and into the future.

In early 2015, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) was officially approved by US Coast Guard (USCG) as subcontracted testing facility for BWMS. NIVA quickly started official USCG testing of this BWMS developed by Optimarin in freshwater, brackishwater and seawater qualities for land-based and shipboard testing. That acceptance by US Coast Guard came at the 10 year anniversary of the Test Facility at Solbergstrand. Less than two years later, the USCG-approval for Optimarin marks another milestone for NIVA’s ballast water team.

- We are proud to have been the test facility for the first BWT system supplier to obtain USCG approval, says Stephanie Delacroix, project manager and research scientist at NIVA.

- This adds to the formidable testing experiences gained since the start in 2005, and the great R&D effort of NIVA’s Test Facility for sampling, analysis methods and other required testing procedures, Delacroix says.

Testanlegg Solbergstrand
Seawater is mixed with marine organisms in large tanks in the test facilities at Solbergstrand in Drøbak Sound before the water is pumped through the treatment equipment undergoing tests. To be certified, equipment has to kill test organisms efficiently without releasing toxic compounds into aquatic environments. (Photo: Joachim Tørum Johansen, NIVA).

The recent decision marks a significant milestone for the maritime industry in addressing the threat posed by invasive species.

- The U.S. Coast Guard’s testing requirements set strong standards for the performance and validation of ballast water management systems under a range of conditions. The issuance of the type approval certificate documents the ability of the Optimarin Ballast System to meet the U.S. Coast Guard’s standards, stated Capt. John Mauger, commanding officer of the Marine Safety Center, in a USCG press release.

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