Hybrid Partnership Gains First Project
By Jack Burke31 October 2017
By Bo Svensson
MAN Diesel & Turbo is reporting its first order from its 40% stake in Aspin Kemp & Associates (AKA), a specialist power supply, energy management and drive systems for marine applications.
The partners said the first order is for a hybrid propulsion package for a Russian special vessel. Delivery is scheduled for March 2018 in St. Petersburg and marks the first successful collaboration between the two since MAN Diesel & Turbo bought its share in AKA in June.
The order includes four MAN 7L21/31 gensets, including alternators, with AKA’s scope of supply for the order being a complete 690V main switchboard, 690-400 V transformers, and electric motors for main propellers and thrusters. Also within AKA’s delivery is the frequency converters for the electric motors and the drive control and power-management systems. (Energy management systems provide fully automatic control and optimize the power distribution of drive components of ships.)
“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 a Canadian company, based in Montague, Prince Edward Island (PEI). The company employs around 120 at five global locations with about 100 in its PEI locations.
In June 2017 MAN Diesel & Turbo agreed to acquire 40% in AKA. By the acquisition, MAN Diesel & Turbo said it has gained specialized know-how in the field of electric and hybrid systems to complement its product portfolio.
AKA co-founder and CEO Jason Aspin remains with the company as managing director and shareholder. Neale Kemp, the other founding partner. is retiring from active business operations and selling his shares in AKA.
MAN Diesel & Turbo said AKA is known as a world market leader in equipping diesel-hybrid powered ship propulsion systems with integrated battery storage and in high-reliability on-board power systems in dynamic-positioning applications for the marine and offshore oil & gas sectors. The company is also involved in energy storage and hybrid power solutions for a broader range of marine and land-based applications.
“MAN Diesel & Turbo is the world’s premiere designer and manufacturer of marine propulsion systems, and the perfect partner for us,” Aspin said. “We benefit not only from the global prestige of the brand, its global sales network and customer base, but also from the top-class engineering and machine building competence in the fields of engines, exhaust gas after treatment and gas and propulsion systems.”