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Sixty-seven years ago, two Canadian men invented an innovative new product that would influence the shipping industry for years to come! 

The World’s First Electrolytic Marine Growth and Protection System.

Now more than half a century later, our company – MARELCO™ by EMCS Industries Ltd. are specialists in our field. Our experienced technicians understand the challenges you face in different marine environments, tailoring solutions to your needs and providing responsive, proactive, reliable, and ongoing seamless support and technical advice.


Our company’s journey to becoming leaders in antifouling and corrosion began with the founders’ Lauder Ramsay and Frank Lewis Chappell. It started as a battle against marine vessel villains—growth and corrosion on ships, boats, freighters, or anything exposed to the buildup of marine plant and animal organisms such as barnacles and mussels.

Frank decided it was time to fight back and began to experiment in 1950 with some possible solutions. After some deep thinking, he invented a cleaning system that would combat the relentless mussels, barnacles, and corrosion and protect ships on future voyages! 

This invention would later become the international standard for Marine Growth Protection Systems (MGPS) and was named the Cathelco System. The S.S. Princess Kathleen of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Coast Services was the very first vessel to try this new system in the same year of its invention. 

How did Frank convince them to install just on theory? 

“No cure, no pay!”. A one-year contract condition.

However, Frank Chappell’s Cathelco System achieved highly satisfying results in only nine short months! Led to the fitting of the Cathelco System on three other CPR coast steamships between 1951 and 1952. With this success, in 1955, the two men founded Electrolytic Marine Corrosion Services (known today as EMCS Industries) in Victoria, B.C., Canada. 


Frank and Lauder had set their sights high and could see worldwide applications for the system. They went forward and pursued partners Commander Patrick Heathfield, William Salisbury, and Harry Gale to expand and promote their brand abroad. Keeping up with the fast-paced market, Cathodic & Electrolytic Engineers Ltd. opened in 1956 in the UK, selling the Cathelco System under license from EMCS. In 1961, the patent was filed and granted for the Canadian invented and engineered Cathelco System. EMCS began to market Cathelco directly in North America and its new UK agent Cathodic & Electrolytic Engineers Ltd.

In 1983, Lauder and Frank thought it was time to abbreviate their company’s name to EMCS Industries Ltd. as it is known today. In 1989 the North American and UK partners ceased their relationship, and the UK company changed its name to Cathelco Ltd. The name change created much confusion among the now competitors, so the Canadians re-branded their system to MARELCO™


Our company was family-owned by the Ramsay family until 2015 when the company was bought by EMWCS Inc. and was appointed Trevor Tasker as the new President and CEO. EMCS continues to move full-steam ahead, re-branding the already successful business to new heights.

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