Byline: Nu Yang
NATIONAL CITY — San Diego marine hybrid systems company Arc Lite Power LLC has signed an agreement to purchase the National City-based Knight & Carver Maritime. The $30 million investment will expand both companies’ capabilities to serve the emerging green marine market.
Knight & Carver, which operates a shipyard and has provided of marine construction and maintenance services since 1971, will continue its traditional offerings in addition to adding operations aimed at making it the world’s first global hybrid superyacht conversion and certification center, Arc Lite announced. An interim operating agreement will allow combined operations to begin immediately.
Since its creation last year, Arc Lite Power has seen a tremendous amount of growth, said Jack McCoy, Arc Lite Power and EnergyTech Marine CEO. “We’re receiving lots of orders — and we needed a facility that would help us start production.”
The company is currently housed in six different locations, but is now set to be based at one central location in Knight & Carver’s 100,000 square-foot bayside facility.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship,” said Knight & Carver chairman Sampson Brown. “It allows us to continue what we do, which is the repair and construction of yachts, but it’s also an opportunity to expand into new products.”
Arc Lite Power and its affiliated company, EnergyTech Marine, have captured a leading position in hybrid marine propulsion, McCoy said, introducing the Power Core system — which replaces standard marine diesel engines, auxiliary generators and lead-acid battery banks found in the majority of vessels.
EnergyTech Marine designed and built what it calls “the world’s first full-hybrid superyacht,” 83 HD-X. The 83-foot vessel, launched at the Knight & Carver, has undergone sea trials and tests of hybrid systems on San Diego Bay.
The firm’s technology received industry honors as this year’s “Environmental Innovation Product of the Year” at the International Boatbuilders Exposition held in Louisville, Ky. “We have the ability to plant that flag in San Diego Bay and bring worldwide attention to the city,” McCoy said.
McCoy said the company plans to bring in at least 200 new jobs — in addition to the 85 current Knight & Carver employees.
“We want to add them as quickly as possible,” McCoy said. “We’re excited to be able to do this in the United States — and in California. Other companies might find it’s cheaper to go abroad, but what we need is the skill level found in San Diego — and at Knight & Carver. From (fiber)glassers to engineering, the skills are here, and they’re available.”
McCoy said workers here will build everything from Arc Lite lithium-ion propulsion batteries to a line of EnergyTech full-hybrid sailing yachts.
Brown said working with Arc Lite Power was a natural progression for Knight & Carver. “It allows us to experiment with green marine technology. (McCoy’s) company is actually working on a solution. He’s ready to go into the market, and that’s appealing. It will be a game changer.”
For more information, visit knightandcarver.com or arclitepower.com.