Optimarin Targets Benelux Growth with Sandfirden
Optimarin has signed an agreement with Sandfirden Technics to consolidate its existing foothold in the key Benelux regional market. Sandfirden, a respected Netherlands-based supplier of equipment and services to the maritime industry, will become the sole regional agent for the leading ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist. In doing so, Sandfirden Technics will use its extensive local contacts and expertise to build on a position that has already seen Optimarin win contracts with clients such as The Royal Netherlands Navy, De Poli Shipmanagement and Boskalis.
Optimarin is currently experiencing significant growth, with its latest Q3 figures showing a year-on-year increase of over 100% in both order intake and revenues. Following on from the September arrival of the IMO D2 deadline for BWT compliance, Tore Andersen, Optimarin EVP Sales and Marketing, says the market is now primed to go into “overdrive”, making it imperative that the firm has the right partners and support to both satisfy demand and provide optimal levels of customer service.
“The Dutch shipping sector is not only a key Northern European market, but an important global player,” Mr Andersen comments. “There is a very strong cluster of respected, forward thinking shipowners and operators that demand the optimum in compliance, reliability and performance from their suppliers and partners. And, with the final starting gun well and truly fired for the retrofitting of BWT systems throughout the world fleet, that provides real opportunity for a company with our market proven technology, niche expertise and documented retrofitting experience.
Mr Andersen: “We want to ensure we have the best organisational structure and local competence to take advantage of that demand and provide first class support to our customers. That’s the driver behind this decision to partner with Sandfirden Technics. They know the regional industry inside out and have fantastic relationships with all the major yards and throughout the ship-owning community. Having their assistance ‘on the ground’ will allow us to meet our ambitious sales, servicing and after sales targets. I look forward to building a strong working partnership with the team in the years to come.”
Sandfirden is headquartered in Den Oever, where the firm’s facilities encompass offices, an extensive parts warehouse, three production halls and modern test facilities. The firm can trace its roots in the maritime industry back to 1947. Managing Director Bart Bakker is set to officially sign the agency agreement with Andersen at Europort, the leading exhibition for special purpose vessels, taking place from 5th to 8th November in Rotterdam.
Speaking of the contract and his ambitions for the partnership, Bakker commented: “Optimarin offers shipowners unrivalled expertise within the highly specialised BWT niche, with simple, proven, compliant and easy to retrofit technology. We can offer them the means to connect with the local market, growing awareness and share, while providing high quality service levels that are in keeping with such a respected brand. It’s a win-win for everyone.
“I strongly believe our companies are a good fit – in terms of our values, cultures and dedication to our customers – and together we can make the most of the huge opportunity within the regional industry. Shipowners need to turn to trusted names to ensure BWT compliance, performance and long-term peace of mind. That’s exactly what they’ll get with Sandfirden and Optimarin.”
Alongside its Q3 results, Optimarin revealed that 2019 will be its best year ever for revenues and orders. The firm is approaching 1000 systems sold of its fully USCG and IMO compliant Optimarin Ballast System (OBS), with around 550 installed, of which approximately 200 are retrofits. Its most recent order was a fleet agreement with Singapore’s Asiatic Lloyd Shipmanagement LLP for 30 retrofitted systems.
Other current Optimarin customers include names such as Royal Caribbean International, Fednav, GulfMark, Hapag Lloyd, Matson Navigation, McDermott, the Danish Navy, MOL, Seatruck, and Technip, amongst others. OBS has certification from a comprehensive range of classification organisations, including ABS, BV, DNV-GL, LR & MLIT Japan.