Wartsila has opened a €250 million ($267.4 million) sustainable technology hub for decarbonisation in the marine and energy sectors, as the company underlines its determination to push forward with energy-transition objectives.
The power and propulsion equipment supplier will invite customers, partner companies and academia to participate in the hub, located in Vaasa, Finland, through incubating, testing and validating ideas, Wartsila said.
The hub includes a new, modern Wartsila Land & Sea Academy training centre, customer expertise centres for remote operational support, predictive maintenance solutions and the development of new digital innovations that will support customers in optimising their operations and decarbonising.
“The speed at which the marine and energy industries are moving to meet decarbonisation goals is accelerating. The Sustainable Technology Hub, a world-leading centre for research, innovation, engineering and manufacturing, marks the start of a new era for Wartsila,” president and chief executive Hakan Agnevall said.
“By taking advantage of innovative technologies that already exist, 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.”
Construction of the hub was announced in 2018. It features a modern-fuel laboratory, technology and engine testing facilities, and a production system with a high level of automation, the company said. About 1,500 people are employed at the centre.
The centre is intended to help Wartsila achieve its own target for carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030, through the expansion of sustainable fuels.
The company noted that it already has engines operating on carbon-neutral fuels, with the release of its W32 methanol engine into the market.
It said an ammonia concept will be ready by 2023, and a hydrogen concept is expected to be available by 2025.
Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintila, said: “As we all know, Wartsila is a global leader in innovative technologies and life cycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. Now it is making history by having made a significant investment in Finland, and particularly in the Vaasa region, where the company has been a driving force for a long time.”