Page 50: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (September 2014)
Marine Propulsion Edition
50 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • SEPTEMBER 2014
M arine propulsion and thruster manufacturer Thrustmaster of
Texas, Inc. announced a deal earlier this year to acquire the technol- ogy of DOEN, an Australian designer and manufacturer of waterjet propulsion systems. The deal is signifi cant in that it makes Thrustmaster the only producer of commercial waterjets in the United
States, helping the Houston-based com- pany to expand upon an already strong line of commercial marine propulsion offerings. One of only fi ve marine water- jet manufacturers worldwide that builds waterjets up to 4,000 kW, DOEN has been building waterjets in Australia four nearly 50 years. Spurred by a deteriorat- ing market for manufacturing in Austra- lia, the company ventured out in search for international partners to produce and market its products in other regions, ulti- mately landing a deal with Thrustmaster.
An agreement between DOEN and
Thrustmaster was reached after roughly a year of planning between DOEN’s Di- rector Mark Peters, DOEN’s Director and Chief Engineer Timothy Udvary and
Thrustmaster’s founder, president and
CEO Joe Bekker. “DOEN approached
Thrustmaster, and Thrustmaster acquired the exclusive rights for manufacturing the full range of [DOEN’s] products,”
Bekker said, explaining, “Thrustmaster and DOEN work closely together like hand in glove.”
The deal, which Bekker said required
Thrustmaster to invest “many millions,” sees Thrustmaster market and build wa- terjets under its own name, although the products will be interchangeable in whole and in parts with the DOEN waterjets made in Australia. Follow- ing a $40 million investment into its 200,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in 2009, Thrustmaster is again ex- panding its manufacturing facility, this time to 250,000 square feet, adding more
CNC machining capabilities, in-house paint capabilities and warehouse storage to stow an inventory of smaller jet sizes.
The company also intends to add 40 em- ployees to its current workforce of 250.
The partnership enables Thrustmaster to hold exclusive rights for sales and sup- port of waterjet products in the Americas and Europe, using waterjets and parts built by Thrustmaster in Houston, Texas, while DOEN will continue to serve mar- kets in Asia, Africa and Australasia with waterjets produced in Australia. Each waterjet is supported by Thrustmaster’s global network of sales, spare parts, ser- vice and support that includes locations in Houston, Louisiana, Brazil, Europe,
Dubai and Singapore.
For Thrustmaster, the deal comes at an opportune time Bekker said. “Thrust- master has been growing fast over the last 10 years, primarily in the large azi- muth thruster segment, like drillship and semi-submersible applications,” he said. “The drillship market has cooled off, and we needed a replacement market to keep our factory busy. Waterjets for commercial and military applications fi t our business strategy and nicely comple- ment our existing product lines.”
The initiative strengthens Thrustmas-
Waterjetsaterjets Manufacturing Comes Manufacturing Comes Stateside Stateside
Thrustmaster’s deal with DOEN brings waterjet manufacturing to the United States.
By Eric Haun
Thrustmaster founder, president and CEO Joe Bekker (middle) seals the deal to bring waterjet manufacture to Texas.
MR #9 (50-57).indd 50 9/3/2014 10:44:23 AM