The future of listed maritime cleantech

Shipping may be cyclical in nature, and anyone with a long-time vested (financial) interest in it will know that these cycles can be shocking and sudden. But there is a new type of stock-listed company that is having something of a good run – maritime cleantech.

In the last two years early investors in a bespoke group of cleantech companies will have seen their stock value rocket, even if dividends based on profits remain elusive.

Meanwhile other more long established (listed) technology companies that have evolved to supply environmental and sustainability focused products into the ocean and shipping space have witnessed spectacular results, although these results will often include revenues from other non-related business units, making the impact of maritime cleantech more difficult to determine.

The rise of maritime cleantech is certainly not coincidental. With the IMO member states agreement to radically reduce and then eliminate CO2 emissions from shipping, vessel operators and owners need to have new ideas at their disposal. These ideas need to come from companies like these listed below and from the many smaller privately owned start-up companies that are fighting for funds.

Here’s the Fathom.World (so yes it is selective) top picks of listed maritime cleantechs:

Company Ticker and exchange for main listing Date of listing Largest shareholder Shares and m. Cap  Market product
Young companies
I-Tech (2000/2006) ITECH Nasdaq First North (Stockholm) 2018 Cambrex Karlskoga AB 16.34% 11.91m SKr452.5m  Hull coating additive
Scanship (2007/2011) SSHIP Oslo Bors OSE (Oslo) 2014 Ingero Reiten Inv. Company AS 32.75% 96.18m NKr2.30bn Cleantech solutions
Climeon (2011) CLIME Nasdaq First North (Stockholm) 2017 Thomas Öström (CEO & Founder)  21.4% 34.6m (B series) Skr2.99bn (B series) Energy solutions
Powercell (2008) PCELL Nasdaq First North (Stockholm) 2014 Midroc New Technology 14.8% Fouriertransform 14.8% 51.87m SKr4.65bn Fuel cell
NEL NEL Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo) 2014 Clearstream Banking/unknown 30% 1,217m Nkr8.54bn   Hydrogen infrastructure
Older companies
Alfa Laval ALFA Nasdaq (Stockholm) 1901/2002 Tetra Laval/Rausimg Family 29.1% SKr78.75bn  
Ballard Power Systems (f.1979) TMX (Toronto) NASDAQ (New York) 1993 1995 $966.58m (Nasdaq)  
Wärtsilä (f1834) WRT1V Nasdaq OMSX (Helsinki) 1915 Varma Mutual Pension Insurance 5.37% 591.72m €6.855bn  

It is notable that the majority of these companies are listed in Nordic countries, but this is just the start, and hopefully other businesses with a significant product portfolio in maritime and ocean clean tech will be added in the future. It is also notable that there are many more companies that are not listed, being either under private or private equity ownership.

Among the younger maritime cleantech companies in this initial list, we have included recent biotech start-up I-Tech which listed in Sweden last year. A meteoric rise in share price certainly rewarded early investors, and while the price has dropped since the company has been promising new developments in the coming months. I-Tech sells a biochemical, marketed as Selektope, but based on a known sedative, which is added to growing number of hull coatings in order to prevent barnacle larvae from settling on a ship’s hull.

Scanship in Oslo has a growing reputation as a cleanship solution for the cruise industry, but it too has promises in store. Its wastewater systems, which are very popular with mainstream and smaller cruise ship operators alike, are now being sold into the mariculture business where water quality has become a key issue. It also has made a splash with its relationship with Richard Branson’s new venture Virgin Voyages where it has found a willing partner to install its latest innovation, microwave assisted pyrolysis – basically burning cruise ship waste to create synthetic fuels that can be fed into the vessel’s engines. Scanship’s largest owner is a Norwegian private equity firm.

Editor’s note: Shortly after this post (July 31) the Scanship share dropped significantly from NKr26 to about NKr19

Climeon’s main business is actually in land-based energy, with a waste heat recovery system that has won it many awards, but it has a significant potential in the shipping sector. It too has been able to use the Virgin Voyages platform to gain a very visible market presence. The founders of the company have the largest stakes in the business.

Powercell is a fuel cell developer, which has its largest growth potential in the growing truck and car market, signing a number of deals recently. It makes this list because it and NEL Hydrogen and a third older and also listed company Hexagon formed a joint venture, Oslo-based Hyon, in 2017, to develop and promote hydrogen fuel-cells into the shipping sector, notably short sea shipping.

Powercell’s two largest shareholders (both with 14.8% stakes) are the Swedish government (through the cleverly named Fouriertransform (which is itself a subsidiary of the 2016-formed state-owned 2016 VC company SamInvest) and a company owned by a billionaire Ethopian, Mohammed Al Amoudi, who also owns Sweden’s only refiner, Preem.

From the more established markets we have included in this initial report Alfa Laval, which while being listed is majority owned by the Tetra Laval Group owned by the wealthy Swedish industrial Rausing family. The company is active in waste water management but has a significant portfolio including ballast water treatment systems and exhaust gas scrubbers.

Ballard Power Systems is a Canadian fuel cell developer with perhaps one of the longest histories in the fuel cell market, although again this company has most of its revenues outside shipping.

Wärstilä is the oldest company on the list, and has a long history in the shipping industry, having evolved through a period of being largely an engine and power plant maker. Today it still makes marine engines, but a significant number of clean tech solutions are also in its portfolio along with digital services.

In this initial list only Wärtsilä, Alfa Laval and Scanship have issued dividends over the last 24 months.

The share prices 2017 to end Q2 2019

Prices are in trading currency and based on the last trading day of each quarter (i.e. March 31, June 30, Sept 30, Dec 31)

  SKr NKR SKr SKr NKR SKr C$ $
2016/4 0.9 28.0 2.0 150.8 2.2   14.2
2017/1 1.2 33.2 2.2 169.1 2.9   16.7
2017/2 1.5 32.2 2.2 172.4 3.7   17.3
2017/3 2.4 44.7** 36.0 2.7 198.9 5.9   20.0
2017/4 4.2 53.0 38.0 3.3 193.8 5.6   17.6
2018/1  – 3.9 46.5 24.0 3.0 197,1 4.6   17.8
2018/2 27.9 4.9 61.8 27.3 3.2 212.6 3.8   16.8
2018/3 60.4 4.9 67.5 35.5 3.9 241.0 5.5   16.8
2018/4 66.6 4.6 51.0 35.2 4.6 189.7 3.4   13.9
2019/1 61.8 8.7 95.2 65.9 5.8 213.4 4.0   14.4
2019/2 41.5 16.5 87.5 78.9 6.9 202.6 5.4   12.8

*IT-ech IPO and listing

**CLIME IPO and listing 2017

*** WRT1V climbed over €10 in Oct 2012

While this initial list is not exhaustive, it is an initial attempt at putting a spotlight on cleantech. If you have ideas for listed companies that should be included on the list please email Similarly if you think there are better ways of reporting on the growing ocean and maritime cleantech, please get in touch.

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