The Hamburg-based Schulte Group has acquired a majority stake in TecHullClean Limited (THC), a Singapore registered underwater inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) technology company headquartered in Singapore and Algeciras, Spain and with further subsidiaries in Spain, Gibraltar and Ghana.
THC specialises in underwater hull cleaning, inspection and propeller polishing services that are compliant with local regulations as it prepares for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee’s (MEPC) Guidelines for the control and management of vessels’ biofouling to minimise the transfer of invasive aquatic species.
THC’s founder, Paw Rene Jakobsen, who has been a key player and well-known figure in the commercial diving industry for 35 years, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer at THC following the transaction. Committed to the success of THC, Paw says “The team at THC is proud that the Schulte Group has become our partner and we look forward to benefit from their global presence. We have already concluded licence agreements in Qatar, Brazil, Algeciras, Gibraltar and Ghana and look forward to further expanding our innovative cleaning technology to other ports.”
Shaun Harbinson, the new Chief Commercial Officer of THC, who has been in the shipping industry for over 20 years in various executive roles in Germany, mentions “The underwater cleaning industry has historically been very fragmented, with small players offering inconsistent services. With the Schulte Group and the THC team combining their forces, we are able to expand our technology quickly into other regions.”
Tobias Pinker, Schulte Group CFO, who oversees the Schulte Group maritime service division (Schulte Maritime Services) from the Singapore office, concludes “Cost effective biofouling removal and debris collection has been an issue for the shipping industry for a long time. The authorities have been focusing more and more on the environmental aspects of the biodiversity, due to invasive species, so we are glad this joint venture with Paw and Shaun has been established. We started investing in hull cleaning and underwater repair technology three years ago; this joint venture marks another important milestone, offering shipping companies a suite of different systems on a global scale.”