Since its inception in 2000, BIO-UV has consolidated its reputation in designing, manufacturing and marketing ultraviolet, ozone, salt electrolysis and advanced oxidation process technologies for water disinfection and treatment in a multitude of applications across the industrial, municipal, aquaculture, fisheries and maritime spheres.
The company’s BIO-SEA ship ballast water treatment solution, for instance, is now in wide use globally, accounting for more than 30% of the French company’s total sales, but Laurent-Emmanuel Migeon, BIO-UV Group’s newly appointed Chairman and CEO, has his sights on expansion.
Having joined BIO-UV Group in 2018 as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy General Manager, former agricultural engineer Migeon is looking to expand on its past successes, both financially and in terms of the order pipeline. This is especially evident when it comes to its work in the marine sector.
“Last year, the marine side of the business was responsible for €18 million of the €51.5 million annual revenue of the Group – the highest ever achieved for this division,” said Migeon. “We also sold roughly 200 BIO-SEA systems last year, pushing the total number of BIO-SEA BWTS in the market today to about 700 systems.”
With a background in the life sciences, environmental and agrifood sectors, as well as a decade of experience in finance with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Andersen, Migeon made his mark at BIO-UV Group with the successful listing of the company on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. He also oversaw the fundraising of more than €20 million euros which enabled the acquisition of Triogen Holdings and Corelec.
“I would say that I have got quite a good understanding of the culture of this company and the efforts that have been done to develop some of the key markets we serve,” said Migeon.
He is keen to continue building the BIO-SEA market for low flow rate ballast water treatment systems (from 32m3 to 500m3), suitable for use in ro-ro vessels, cruise ships and yachts, while also leveraging opportunities in the 1,000m3-plus range for larger vessels with the M series and the launch of a new L-mini model.
The repeat spare part service business is another important area of focus, he said. “This means shifting the company’s core business model from that of a product provider to more of a complete water treatment solutions and services partner. It’s about trying to match the right solution to the requirements of our clients – to design, build, install, commission and maintain the system throughout the vessel’s lifecycle. A comprehensive turnkey water treatment solution.
Looking to the future and to strengthen its water treatment expertise, Migeon revealed the company is in discussions with companies that are innovating in water treatment but don’t have the network and experience that we do. “We want to strengthen the commercial link that we’ve got with them, and expand our portfolio,” he said.
With the regulatory requirements for marine water treatment likely to become more stringent over time, it is easy to see the appeal of a one-stop shop for a ship’s water streams needs: everything from ballast water to fresh and potable water, possibly even grey water.
“Taking into account the fact that some of the older BWT systems on the market are not performing well enough today, companies may wish to upgrade their system’s performance in the coming years, and we have the resources to facilitate that.”
Migeon is also interested in the possible connection between BIO-UV Group’s expertise in ballast water technology and another source of contamination on ships: biofouling.
“We are considering the demand for UV technology to clean the outside of vessels. If we’re already cleaning the organisms in the ballast, we clean them on the outside of the ship too. In addition, we may well see an increase in orders from ports and harbours for systems to clean port and harbour waters, irrespective of the biofouling on the ship.”
The company is currently working on ways of leveraging the knowledge acquired developing UV-based surface disinfectant/treatment of the Covid-19 virus. “We worked with a company that created a system using robots coupled with UV lamps to tackle Covid-19 in hospitals,” said Migeon. “For various reasons the market was not ready for it at the time, but we believe that this experience helps us in developing ships’ hull cleaning devices.”
Looking to the future and to strengthen its water treatment expertise, Migeon revealed the company is in discussions with companies that are innovating in water treatment but don’t have the network and experience that the Group does. “We want to strengthen the commercial link that we’ve got with them, and expand our portfolio,” he said.
“We will continue to strengthen and grow our position in the four markets we serve and continue to propel BIO-UV Group along a growth trajectory,” he said.