Ground-breaking of the new manufacturing plant for Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, takes place today with a ceremony at the Yeongam, South Korea site. The project is a joint venture investment between Wärtsilä Corporation and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd (HHI), and the new company will be known as Wärtsilä-Hyundai Engine Company Ltd. The joint venture was announced in January 2007.
The new plant will be dedicated to producing Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines for LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) carriers. Demand in this market is expected to continue to grow in tandem with the increasing global demand for natural gas. Korea currently has a market share exceeding 70 percent of the LNG shipbuilding market.
The Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engine has pioneered an industry change from the traditionally-applied steam turbine machinery to a dual-fuel-electric concept with the benefits of much better operating economy and lower exhaust emissions. The engine can be run either on natural gas or on marine diesel oil (MDO) or on heavy fuel oil (HFO). The engine can smoothly switch between fuels during engine operation and is designed to give the same output regardless of the fuel.
To date Wärtsilä has received orders for 206 Wärtsilä 50DF engines for 52 LNG carriers. The factory, which is scheduled to be in production by the second half of 2008, will produce approximately 100 engines per year.
In his remarks at the ground-breaking ceremony, Wärtsilä Vice President, Mr Erik Pettersson refers to the importance of having HHI as a strong local partner in developing the capacity to meet the demands of the company’s Asian customers. “To be able to successfully serve the Asian markets, a strong foothold in the region as well as a thorough understanding of local conditions, are essential. By teaming up with HHI, we believe we have harnessed the resources of two companies with strong track records in their respective industries,” he says.
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Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 15,000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä locations in close to 70 countries around the world.