The importance of fuel efficiency is increasing in both the marine and energy markets. Wärtsilä’s launch of the new generation Wärtsilä 31 engine was a milestone achievement in product efficiency improvement. The Wärtsilä 31 has been recognised by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine; its diesel fuel consumption being as low as 165 g/kWh. Within the Services business, customer emphasis on optimising efficiency drove the demand for propulsion system upgrades, as well as for long-term service agreements.
The transition to natural gas fuelled applications in the power generation market is evident, with gas and multi-fuel applications accounting for 71% of Energy Solutions' quotation activity and 46% of its order intake. Gas based contracts included several orders for peaking and renewable support power plants from the USA. Furthermore, Wärtsilä Services received orders to convert power plants to operate on natural gas, among the more significant of these being the Maltese Delimara Power Station. Gas is of interest also in the marine markets. Gas carriers continued to be the largest segment in terms of Marine Solutions’ order intake, partly due to the increasing use of Wärtsilä 34DF engines for auxiliary applications in the LNG carrier segment. Wärtsilä maintained its position as a leading supplier of gas handling systems to the marine markets, and received orders to deliver similar equipment to land-based installations as well.
The development of Wärtsilä’s digital presence was a key theme during 2015. A new digital service portfolio, Wärtsilä Genius services, was launched, and Wärtsilä’s digitalisation competences were further strengthened by the acquisition of L-3 Marine Systems International.
Wärtsilä continued to invest in technology development in order to maintain the competitiveness of its product portfolio, and to secure a leading position in sustainable innovation. The R&D related expenditure totalled EUR 132 million or 2.6% of net sales, with the areas of emphasis being efficiency improvement, fuel flexibility, and the reduction of environmental impact.
To promote a high performance culture, Wärtsilä arranged leadership development programmes, as well as learning solutions for core competence areas in sales, project management, and technology. Wärtsilä employees attended a total of 55,620 training days, which represents on average 3.0 training days per employee. Diversity continued to be a focus area during 2015, the emphasis being on local diversity action planning and implementation. Additionally, Wärtsilä participated in the Dialogi 2015 programme with the aim of developing and promoting female leadership and careers in business. Wärtsilä was also one of the main sponsors of the bi-annual Women in Tech event. Personnel safety is a priority for Wärtsilä and during the year the company moved steadily closer to its on-going target of zero lost-time injuries. Wärtsilä also introduced a WeCare mobile application with the aim of increasing near miss and hazard reporting.