Wärtsilä has come a long way in the quarter century since it signed its first operations and maintenance contract in South America’s second-largest country.
The story of Wärtsilä in Argentina started in 1997 when the operations and maintenance agreement for the AngloGold Ashanti -owned Cerro Vanguardia power plant was signed.
Over the subsequent 25 years the company has supplied a further 12 power plants around the country, including the supply of Central Costanera power plant in 2016 - the first power plant connected to the national grid.
The total output of the capacity delivered by Wärtsilä to date is 680 MW, with a further 20 MW under construction.
The first office was opened in Buenos Aires in 1999. Today, the 125 Wärtsilä employees in Argentina are part of more than 1000 company professionals employed across the continent and play a vital role in servicing customers in the industrial, independent energy production, and mining sectors.
A quarter of a century is a great milestone worth celebrating. In recognition of this, Wärtsilä organised a get-together in mid-November in Buenos Aires that brought together company employees, customers, and authorities from around the energy and marine sector.
The energy sector was represented at the event by Pampa Energía, YPF, Sullair Argentina, Secco, Enel Generación, Capex, Genneia, Central Puerto, Impsa Argentina, Panamerican Energy and TGN.
Customers from the marine sector included Tandanor Shipyard, Argenova, Río Paraná Shipyard, Marine Logistics, Tecnavin, the National Nautical School, and the Navy of the Argentine Republic.
The event was also attended by the Ambassador of Finland Ms Nicola Lindertz and representatives of Cammesa (Compañía Administradora del Mercado Eléctrico Mayorista, the Argentine wholesale electricity market clearing company) and the Finnish and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.
Javier Ricciarelli, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Argentina and Uruguay, and Jorge Alcaide, Energy Business Director of South Region, Americas, together with regional managers hosted the event.
“I would like to extend a warm welcome to both our marine and energy sector customers who are here today. I hope the next 25 years will be even more successful than the first 25,” said Risto Paldanius, Vice President of Wärtsilä Energy in Americas, in a recorded message in which he thanked all the participants for attending.
Luis Vago, Operations Director, Sullair Argentina said Wärtsilä is a company with which his company likes to do business. “It is flexible and adaptable and despite being a large, world-class company, it is very easy to work with,” he said.
Daniel Briff, Sullair Argentina Operation & Maintenance Manager explained that his company has had a maintenance contract with Wärtsilä Argentina for the last five years.
“Wärtsilä helped us quickly reach our generation and availability objectives, with proper cost management and high predictability,” he said. “It has been five years of fruitful work - the synergy has been very good and we hope to continue working together for many more years.”
Mr Ricciarelli elaborated on the factors behind the success of the local Wärtsilä company.
“Wärtsilä is constantly innovating and since its beginnings in Argentina has been able to adapt to both the local market and society through a solid technology and service proposition,” he said. “We are always positive towards development and have a progressive attitude. This has influenced my personal as well as professional development.”
Ms Lindertz highlighted the exceptional team spirit of the Wärtsilä employees and the warm relationship they have with their customers. This was reflected in a video presentation featuring Wärtsilä colleagues sharing their experiences of being part of the Wärtsilä team in Argentina.
Another special feature of the event was the painting of a mural celebrating the growth of the company by the renowned local artist and painter Tito Perez and fellow artist Ramiro Pérez, which all the guests had an opportunity to sign.