Wärtsilä selling LNG tank control systems business

By Jack Burke17 September 2021

The business became part of Wärtsilä as a result of the acquisition of Total Automation in 2006

Wärtsilä is selling its tank control systems business to Svanehøj, a Danish gas pump specialist involved in the design and manufacture of specialized deep well pump solutions.

Wärtsilä Tank Control Systems designs, manufactures, sells and services high-end measurement systems for gas tanks on liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships, offshore storage, and land-based LNG terminals. It is also a supplier of safety products and associated systems and solutions for LPG land-based storage and underground cavern storage.

Danish company Svanehøj is acquiring Wärtsilä Tank Control Systems. With its second acquisition in less than a year, Svanehøj expands its OEM activities and adds new skills to its rapidly growing service department for gas tankers.

“With the divestment, Tank Control Systems will have access to Svanehøj’s resources and service network, complementing the current installed base and future direction of our safety and gauging solutions,” said Chris Mais, general manager of Tank Control Systems.

The business became part of Wärtsilä as a result of the acquisition of Total Automation in 2006 and has approximately 50 employees based in the UK, France and Singapore with a revenue of EUR 7.5 million in 2020.

“The acquisition of Wärtsilä Tank Control Systems is an expression of our desire to make Svanehøj a globally leading specialist in producing and servicing equipment for handling all types of liquefied gas – natural gas, biogas and not least the Power-to-X-based fuel of the future,” said CEO of Svanehøj, Søren K. Nielsen.

The acquisition of Wärtsilä TCS, historically known as Whessoe, brings Svanehøj unique skills in the production, sale, and service of high-end measurement systems for gas tanks on LNG ships and land-based LNG facilities.

“Gas is one of the biggest driving forces in the green transition. Liquefied natural gases such as LNG and LPG are already cleaner alternatives to oil and coal today. And with Power-to-X, we will see green electricity from solar power and wind converted into climate-friendly fuel for aircraft, ships, lorries and industry in a few years,” Nielsen said.

The acquisition of Wärtsilä TCS opens new opportunities for Svanehøj’s rapidly growing service business, which has almost tripled its revenue since 2018. Svanehøj is already a leading provider of cargo system service for LPG vessels, and the intention is to use the acquisition to achieve a similar position within the larger LNG ship segment.

“With this acquisition, Svanehøj will now be the preferred service provider for about 500 LNG vessels with tank measurement systems from Wärtsilä TCS. Once onboard, it will be attractive for many customers to consolidate their service jobs and make use of our competencies within servicing pumps, compressors, valves, and instrumentation,” said Morten Christian Larsen, director, Service & Aftersales, at Svanehøj.

With the acquisition, he will lead a service department with more than 70 employees and activities in Denmark, UK, China, and Singapore. With an expected increase in activity of initially 30-40%, the plan is to employ additional staff to support the offices in Denmark and Singapore.

Closing of the transaction is subject to fulfillment of closing conditions, expected in the fourth quarter of 2021. Terms were not disclosed.

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