1834
1834

A sawmill is established in Värtsilä, a small village in Northern Karelia on April 12, 1834. The sawmill rapidly expands into an iron works company.

Historical photo of the sawmill.

1925
1925

Company president Wilhelm Wahlforss starts developing Wärtsilä into a multi-sector company by acquiring major Finnish shipyards and companies. This marked our entry into the marine industry that later becomes a core market for us.

1930s
1930s

The threat of war encourages Wilhelm to purchase many domestic engineering works that manufacture, for example ammunition and paper machines.

1935
1935

Wärtsilä's headquarters move from Karelia to Helsinki, Finland.

Newspaper articles about Wärtsilä acquiring a majority holding in Kone- ja Siltarakennus Oy in 1935.

1938
1938

Wärtsilä's diesel engine era begins as we sign a licence agreement with Friedrich Krupp Germania Werft AG in Germany. The first engines under the licence are delivered in 1940.

Sacm Diesel Factory.

1940-1969
1945
1945

Wärtsilä's previous acquisitions prove useful during World War II. As Finland needs to pay war reparations to Russia, Wärtsilä becomes the biggest provider of the items.

1949
1949

Wärtsilä becomes the biggest industrial company in Finland with over 11,000 employees.

1954
1954

Wärtsilä makes the decision to start designing our own diesel engines. Wilmer Wahlstedt, a young civil engineer, is called to Vaasa to lead the work.

Story: The birth of the first Wärtsilä diesel engine

Wilmer Wahlstedt posing next to the first Wärtsilä Vasa 614.

1959
1959

The first Wärtsilä-designed diesel engine, the Wärtsilä Vasa 14, is started for the first time.

1960
1960

The first commercial engines, the Wärtsilä Vasa 614 with six cylinders, are delivered to a car ferry sailing between Finland and Sweden.

1970-1999
1970s
1970s
1978
1978

Wärtsilä invests further in diesel engine technology, and our manufacturing operations go international as we acquire Swedish NOHAB diesel business.

Story: The day the flywheel broke in half
1980s
1980s

The long crisis in the global marine industry leads Wärtsilä to withdraw from the ship building industry. Reorganisations in the company strengthen Wärtsilä's focus on power supply for marine and energy and some of our smaller businesses are divested.

Story: The focus remains on people Story: Chaika – A mighty Soviet beauty
1990
1990

Wärtsilä supplies the propulsion to the marine research vessel RSS James Clark Ross. The vessel, which was launched in December 1990 by HM Queen Elizabeth II, was one of the most advanced polar research vessels of its time.

1995
1995

After a decade of developing dual-fuel (DF) technology, we introduce our breakthrough DF engine.

Story: Do they sell toilets here?
1997
1997

Our engine portfolio grows to slow-speed engines as we acquire New Sulzer Diesel. This makes us a global leader in the ship engine business.

Story: Surrounded by civil war and under curfew: Yes we can!
2000-2019
2000s
2000s
2001
2001

Remote monitoring of our customers' assets turns into a real business as we start offering Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) as a preventive maintenance service.

2008
2008

We launch our global safety programme targeting zero injuries

2009
2009

Wärtsilä is listed among the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world for the first time. Wärtsilä joins the United Nations’ Global Compact initiative.

Story: What’s the deal with the Irish debt crisis?
2012
2012

Wärtsilä delivers the first-ever hybrid power generation system as a battery storage system is installed to complement the existing engine power onboard our customer's vessel.

2015
2015

Launch of the Wärtsilä 31 engine that gets acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the world's most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine.

First engines of a customer are converted to run on methanol.

2016
2016
2018
2018

Wärtsilä starts researching Power-to-X as an important technology on the path towards decarbonisation in various industries.

2019
2019

We unveil our purpose – Enabling sustainable societies through innovation in technology and services – that further guides Wärtsilä's efforts towards sustainability. We also accelerate the development of the sustainable fuels methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen.

2020 -
2020s
2020s

Wärtsilä takes a leading role in transforming the marine and energy industries; we set goals and reach milestones to decrease the emissions of engine-based power supply in the marine and energy markets, while developing hybrid solutions where energy storage systems are supporting engine and renewables-based power production.

2021
2021

Wärtsilä commits to become carbon-neutral in its own operations and provide a product portfolio ready for zero-carbon fuels by 2030. We launch a major test programme to develop carbon-free power generation solutions with hydrogen and ammonia.

2022
2022
2023
2023
2024
2024

We celebrate our 190th anniversary.