Wärtsilä has acquired American Hydro, a company specialising in consultancy, design and precision performance enhancement services for hydro-turbines and pumps.

American Hydro 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

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 100MW Jordan Hydro Dam.

In April, 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.

Wärtsilä Services Business Development, Seals & Bearings director Lee Martindale said: "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.

"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."