In June 2016, Wärtsilä acquired American Hydro, a specialist in optimising, upgrading and servicing hydroelectric and water distribution systems. With its offering of consultancy, design and precision performance enhancement services for hydro-turbines and pumps, the company was a natural extension to Wärtsilä Services’ portfolio, supporting its customers in hydro upgrades and plant rehabilitation.
As energy demand continues to increase on a global level, hydro power operators around the world face a significant need for extensive efficiency upgrades in old hydro plants. In addition to answering this demand, Wärtsilä’s expertise in new technologies and utilisation of real-time data and analytics provide opportunities to optimise the daily operations and maintenance of hydro power plants. Building on American Hydro’s strong position in North America, Wärtsilä is now targeting a rapid global growth in the hydro market.
Increasing hydropower plant efficiency around the world
Now, a year later, the acquisition has proven to be a successful strategic step towards Wärtsilä’s target of growth and expansion in the hydro sector. American Hydro’s recent customer projects include a contract with Alabama Power, a Southern Company, to replace, rehabilitate and install unit two at the 100 MW Jordan Hydro Dam. In April 2017, American Hydro signed a contract with H2O Power to upgrade, rehabilitate, and install two Francis turbine units at their Island Falls Generating Station located on the Abitibi River in Ontario, Canada.
“Thanks to the acquisition of American Hydro, we have further expanded our knowledge and understanding of the hydro market, and can now better support our customers in hydro upgrades and plant rehabilitation, including hydro seals and bearings, hydro-electrical and automation upgrades and industrial generator bearings,” says Lee Martindale, Director, Business Development, Seals & Bearings at Wärtsilä Services. “The results of the integration of American Hydro have exceeded our expectations, and we are now looking to gain a strong foothold in the hydro markets of Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia, as well as keeping our eyes open for new acquisition opportunities in these areas,” Martindale continues.
Growing offering and organisation
Wärtsilä has more than 30 years’ experience in supplying seals and bearings to the global hydro and industrial and marine markets. It offers customers around the world optimising and predicting solutions through full operations and maintenance services as well as plant upgrades, including reconditioning, remanufacturing and upgraded component supply. To further support its hydro power customers and continue to grow and expand in the business area, Wärtsilä offers hydro services utilising its existing, well-equipped re-manufacturing workshops and in-situ machining technologies, expanding the latest developments in laser welding, babbitting, machining and coating services to hydropower plant customers.
More information on Wärtsilä’s Hydro and Industrial Services