Collaboration is the key to sustainable development
With its smart technology, Wärtsilä is playing a key role in energising many African countries. That was the journey that Clifford Wanuy wanted to join 11 years ago when he started as an Electrician in Wärtsilä Field Services. After various roles, he has now been working as a Technical Expert in Technical Services since 2018 in Douala, Cameroon.
Wärtsilä’s Technical Services is a team that is ready to act when needed. Cases occur suddenly and the team is used to reacting to them immediately during these surprising moments if needed. One of the most memorable days Clifford has had so far, took place in November 2015. “I had just returned to our Lagos office from a business trip all the way in Onne, where we had fixed a propeller system on-board a vessel. Then, we got a notice that another customer needed propulsion support in Port Harcourt. Consequently, I left back to where I just came from to help the second customer too,” Clifford tells slightly amused.
“After three hours work on-board, the vessel resumed activities and the whole crew was relieved – the stress laid off from each shoulder. The customer was convinced and relieved for our dynamic and quick response to the concern they faced,” Clifford continues. “In these situations, I think my strengths in openness and readiness to embrace changes have played a key role. I can cope with challenging and surprising situations while at the same time being dynamic and proactive in my everyday actions.”
One of the most rewarding yet challenging tasks was when Clifford took a new role as a Supervisor of Electrical and Automation Services at Owendo power plant. In 2010, the plant had an availability rate of 60% – meaning there was quite significant opportunity to increase the engines’ power output.
“In order to increase efficiency, I understood that I had to find more skilled engineers to mentor me from other Technical and Field Services teams within Wärtsilä’s global network. With this support, I was able to schedule, execute maintenance and respond to standby power failures. Within three months, the availability of the power plant had improved to 80 %, and then to 98% in six months period. Knowledge sharing has been the major key to success in this process,” Clifford explains joyfully and continues: “At Wärtsilä, it is easy to ask for help, you just have to do it! A simple e-mail to a more experienced colleague in another network or department might help you to have your problem solved and you can learn from others. This approach has solely been there to take me further.”
According to Clifford, over the years Wärtsilä has established a solid ground from where to leap into the future; the company has put effort in developing a participative collaboration with its partners – a way to integrate digital technology into state of the art solutions. “I hope in the future we pay even more attention to the environmental development of our solutions and keep ahead of the innovation. This demands constant research but it ensures that we are remaining competitive and able to provide new products and solutions while taking on the responsibility of the environmental challenges,” Clifford tells about his perception of the future.
He continues more with the importance of the innovation and what it means in practice, “Innovation has been one of the major drivers keeping the company moving. As there have been economic and environmental concerns on the energy production, Wärtsilä has been able to take on the challenge and integrated various solutions ranging from solar power to storage solutions. With our integrated approach, we have the possibility to respond to flexible energy demands of the future.”
The future nor the changes it brings don’t concern Clifford anymore; he understands his role better now and identifies himself as the company’s asset, which makes him ready for whatever may come. “Wärtsilä is rehabilitating existing power plants to extend their life cycle and delivering new hybrid energy solutions. I fully share this vision on more sustainable solutions and want to be part of delivering quality service under our new portfolio.”