A New Marine Hybrid Partnership
By Mike Osenga02 November 2017
By Bo Svensson
MAN Diesel & Turbo has announced a contractual agreement to acquire a 40% participation in Aspin Kemp & Associates (AKA), Montague, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada.
AKA specializes in power supply, energy management and electric and hybrid drive systems for marine applications. The company employs around 120 persons at five locations around the world and about 100 people in its PEI locations. The new partners have recently received their first order for a hybrid propulsion package for a Russian special vessel.
With the acquisition, MAN Diesel & Turbo joins a growing list of global manufacturers that includes Cummins, Danfoss and Deutz, that have recently added electric and hybrid systems to complement its product portfolio.
AKA co-founder Jason Aspin will remain with the company as managing director and shareholder. Neale Kemp as the other founding partner is retiring from active business operations and selling his shares in AKA.
The partners have recently received an order in connection with the building of a multi-purpose supply vessel for a federal Russian agency. Delivery is scheduled for March 2018 in St. Petersburg and marks the first successful collaboration between the two partners since MAN Diesel & Turbo bought its share in AKA.
The order comprises for MAN 7L21/31 gen-sets, including alternators, with AKA’s providing a complete 690V main switchboard, 690-400 V transformers, and electric motors for main propellers and thrusters. AKA will also supply the frequency converters for the electric motors and the drive control and power-management systems.
“This specialist vessel, with its unique operational demands, showcases our competence as a solution provider and the broader capability we now possess with AKA’s energy-management expertise,” said Wayne Jones, chief sales officer, MAN Diesel & Turbo. “Encouragingly for our new partnership, the previous vessel in this series was equipped with an identical propulsion package, but from a different supplier.”
The partnership is part of MAN Diesel & Turbo’s strategic development program, “Basecamp 3000+”, launched in 2016. As part of this program, the company announced strategic acquisitions and partnerships to expand its product range with respect to the global trends of de-carbonization and digitalization.
“The partnership with AKA is a key element in our strategy to strengthen our role as technological forerunner in the field of marine propulsion”, explained Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo. “AKA’s specialized expertise links battery storage systems and marine engines. The new cooperation marks an important step on the way to further establish ourselves as a principal system supplier for energy management on board ships.”
AKA is an established provider equipping diesel-hybrid powered ship propulsion systems with integrated battery storage and in on-board power systems in dynamic-positioning applications for the marine and offshore oil & gas markets. The company’s technology also includes energy storage and hybrid power solutions for a broader range of marine and land-based applications.
A video describing AKA’s company and role: