Wärtsilä unveils new tech center

By Jack Burke01 June 2022

€250 million facility in Vaasa, Finland

Wärtsilä officially opened its new technology center, called the Sustainable Technology Hub, in Vaasa, Finland.

The new center will contribute to efforts to advance the global decarbonization of marine and energy by fostering innovation, collaboration, and the development of green technologies using sustainable fuels and digital technologies, the company said.

“The speed at which the marine and energy industries are moving to meet decarbonization goals is accelerating,” said Håkan Agnevall, president and CEO of Wärtsilä Corp. “The Sustainable Technology Hub, (STH), a world-leading center for research, innovation, engineering and manufacturing, marks the start of a new era for Wärtsilä. By taking advantage of innovative technologies that already exist today, we can speed up the development of future-proof engines capable of running on sustainable fuels. We can now demonstrate that a carbon neutral future is achievable.”

Wärtsilä said its new Sustainable Technology Hub features a modern fuel laboratory, flexible technology and engine testing facilities, as well as a state-of-the-art production system with a high level of automation.(Image: Wärtsilä)

The construction of the new center was announced in 2018 with a total investment of around €250 million. It features a modern fuel laboratory, flexible technology and engine testing facilities, as well as a state-of-the-art production system with a high level of automation, the company said. The center employs 1500 people under one roof, providing operational efficiency as well as a reduced carbon footprint in logistics, the company said. The center has advanced energy recovery systems that enable self-sufficiency for heat energy. With the expansion of sustainable fuels, the STH is a cornerstone for achieving the company’s 2030 target for carbon neutrality in its own operations, the company said.

Innovation and the development of service solutions will be an important part of the Hub’s output. A new, modern Wärtsilä Land & Sea Academy training center, Customer Expertise Centers for remote operational support, predictive maintenance solutions, and the development of new digital innovations play a central role in supporting customers to optimize their operations throughout the life cycle of their assets, and to accelerate their decarbonization journey.

The center acts also as a global ecosystem of collaboration by inviting customers, partner companies and academia to incubate, test and validate ideas. One major collaboration showcase is the Wasaline ferry Aurora Botnia. Wärtsilä and Wasaline have closely cooperated to establish this vessel as one of the world’s most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable passenger ferries. The collaboration continues with the vessel used as a floating testbed for Wärtsilä’s future innovations. It is equipped with Wärtsilä’s most technologically advanced solutions and services.

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