Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen sign agreement to develop and market fuel cell based power plant solutions in Japan

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade press release, 2 March 2010 at 14:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen have signed a business development agreement to develop and market fuel cell based power solutions for distributed power generation applications in Japan. The combined heat and power applications, which can be run on either city gas or bio gas, will feature the use of Wärtsilä’s fuel cell technology. The applications will be developed in cooperation by both companies, and marketed by Hitachi Zosen. Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen will utilize and combine their vast experience in technology and business development to provide this new and competitive power solution for the Japanese distributed energy markets.

“The co-operation between Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen provides an important opportunity to optimise future fuel cell products to meet customer requirements, and to facilitate optimal application development. We are very pleased to start this partnership with Hitachi Zosen in order to develop and introduce Wärtsilä’s fuel cell products to the Japanese market. This is an important step towards the commercialisation of fuel cell technology,“ says Mr. Erkko Fontell, Director, Fuel Cells, Wärtsilä Finland.

Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen have enjoyed more than 20 years of close co-operation in developing the sale and construction of Wärtsilä equipment to the Japanese energy market. Numerous Wärtsilä oil and gas fired power plants have been sold and constructed in Japan as a result of this co-operation. 

Fuel cell power solutions - close to zero emissions

Fuel cells are considered to be one of the most exciting energy technologies for the future. Since Wärtsilä’s fuel cells can efficiently utilise natural gas, city gas, and biogas as fuel, they produce almost zero nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate emissions, all of which are harmful to the environment.

Wärtsilä places strong emphasis on developing and applying technologies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of its products. The continuous development of more efficient, clean, and sustainable power solutions is an essential part of Wärtsilä’s strategy.  Fuel cell technology development supports this strategy by providing ultra clean and highly efficient solutions to the lower power range of Wärtsilä’s product portfolio.

Expertise in fuel cell technology

Wärtsilä is one of the world’s leading companies in the development of fuel cell products based on SOFC (planar solid oxide fuel cell) technology. The development is supported by close collaboration with Danish Topsoe Fuel Cell A/S and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Wärtsilä has delivered a fuel cell unit producing electric and heating power to the Vaasa Housing Fair site in Western Finland. This groundbreaking Wärtsilä FC20 has proven to be extremely successful. The power generating unit, which runs on landfill gas, has been in operation for more than 1500 hours, producing electricity and heat for local households without creating any significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Wärtsilä’s competence centre for fuel cell technology is located at Otaniemi in Espoo, Finland. Operation of the fuel cell unit is supported by personnel from Wärtsilä’s engine laboratory in Vaasa, Finland. 

For further information, please contact:


Mr Erkko Fontell
Director, Fuel Cells (Product Centre Ecotech)
Wärtsilä Finland
Tel:  +358-107095228, +358 407544389

Ms Tuula Franck
Senior Manager, External Communications
Wärtsilä Corporation
Mobile: +358 400267555

Hitachi Zosen

Mr Tadashi Suzuki
General Manager, Power Plant Sales Department Plant & Energy Headquarters Hitachi Zosen Corporation
Tel: +81 66569 0071

Mr Toshihiko Mabuchi
Senior Engineer, Power Plant Design Group Energy Design & Planning Department Plant & Energy Headquarters Hitachi Zosen Corporation
Tel: +81 66569 0209

Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.
In 2009, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.3 billion with more than 18,000 employees. The company has operations in 160 locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.

Hitachi Zosen in brief
We Hitachi Zosen, based on our technology fostered for 130 years from the day of our establishment in 1881, have expanded our business into various areas such as Environmental protection systems, a variety of plants, Industrial machinery, Precision machinery and Steel structures. Especially, in recent years, we have been contributing to working on issues related to the global environment such as prevention of global warming and dealing with air pollution and water-resource issues.
The number of employees in our whole group is about 8,000 and our consolidated net sales for fiscal 2008 were about 300 billion yen. Our company is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.