Powering Up

By Jack Burke07 June 2017

MAN Diesel & Turbo will acquire a 40% stake in Aspin Kemp & Associates (AKA), a specialist in power supply, energy management and drive systems for marine applications.

AKA, based in Montague, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, employs about 120 at five global locations and about 100 at its PEI locations.

AKA is a leader in equipping diesel-hybrid powered vessel propulsion systems with integrated battery storage systems and in high reliability, on-board power systems in dynamic-positioning (DP) applications for the marine and offshore oil & gas sectors, MAN said. AKA is also involved in energy storage and hybrid power solutions for a broader range of marine, offshore oil and gas and land-based applications. AKA has developed and continues to improve technology for power, propulsion and drilling applications in the offshore oil and gas sector. AKA co-founder Jason Aspin will remain 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.

The investment 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 decarbonisation and digitalisation. “The partnership with AKA is a key element in our strategy to strengthen our role as technological forerunner in the field of marine propulsion,” said 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.”

Energy management systems are designed to provide fully automatic control and optimize the power distribution of drive components of ships. On ships with so-called hybrid drive, electric motors and battery storage systems are employed alongside diesel and multi-fuel engines.

The battery system is recharged with surplus energy from the engine, enabling the engine to be operated in its optimum load range at all times. Any load peaks can be quickly and efficiently covered by the electrical storage system, the company said.

“As the world’s premiere designer and manufacturer of marine propulsion systems, MAN Diesel & Turbo is 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.”

Barend Thijssen, Vice President MAN Diesel & Turbo and Head of Sales & Promotion Four-Stroke Engines & Marine Systems, adds: “AKA is a technological pioneer in growth niches that are of decisive importance for us, for example in the integration of battery storage technology for hybrid drive systems for the maritime sector. Hybrid drives are becoming ever-more important as they help to improve the efficiency and at the same time reduce emissions.”

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