Wärtsilä expands further in Norway - inaugurates new premises in Rubbestadneset

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release 5 September 2008 at 10:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä is gearing up for strong growth in the Sunnhordland region and aims to strengthen its position as a leading provider of total solutions to marine customers, both in Norway and globally.

Wärtsilä Corporation today announced the opening of two major expansions at the company’s service workshop and gear plant in Rubbestadneset. The investment of 3.4 million euros is a further step in Wärtsilä’s ongoing development plan, aimed at strengthening its position as a leading provider of power solutions to marine customers, both in Norway and globally. It is also an indication of Wärtsilä’s commitment to the Sunnhordland region and to Norway in general.

The extensions will raise the production capacity in the Rubbestadneset gear factory and service workshop to a level that corresponds to future market requirements and the needs for flexibility.

“To boost our competitiveness within the maritime industry in Norway and globally, we have to develop and improve our manufacturing processes. These extensions give the company a higher level of capacity, both within gear production and in the delivery of service solutions, to our customers. It also allows for more flexibility and broadens our service offerings,” says Mr Arne Birkeland, Managing Director, Wärtsilä in Norway.

Wärtsilä has recently made strategic acquisitions, is actively investing in its infrastructure in Norway, and is focusing on expansion into new business areas. These moves reflect the excellent business potential that the company sees in Norway, a country with a strong position in the global maritime industry.

The President & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation, Mr Ole Johansson commented:
”Norway offers great opportunities for Wärtsilä, especially in the offshore and oil & gas segments, and is one of the most important future key markets for us. Norway has long traditions in shipping, excellent know-how, as well as a large shipyard industry that is actively planning investments in new ships and installations. Norway also offers very valuable expertise and highly trained and skilled personnel in many areas, including ship design. This creates great opportunities for us to improve our technological know-how and to boost our competitiveness”.

The new gear production facility will house gear assembly, welding and product testing.  The company’s new extension of the services facilities will house equipment for component overhaul, ship service and spare parts production. The gear factory extension is approximately 800 square meters, and the new service workshop about 650 square meters in size. In addition to these latest expansions, Wärtsilä has other building projects in the works in Norway, including a new 16,000 square-meter automation factory in Stord. The investments in expanding these facilities demonstrate Wärtsilä’s strategic direction in the Norwegian market, aiming to be a total service provider to its customers, providing the whole package from the initial design work through the operative stages and throughout the service cycle.

Wärtsilä has more than 1100 employees in Norway. Recently, Wärtsilä opened offices in Stavanger, Bergen and Oslo, and plans to establish a presence in other parts of the country as well. Wärtsilä has also been active in strategic acquisitions, most recently with the purchase of the leading ship design company, Vik-Sandvik. Earlier this year Wärtsilä also acquired the ship service company Maritime Service in Ålesund, and in 2006 Wärtsilä bought the Stord based company AKPAS.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Arne Birkeland
Managing Director
Wärtsilä Norway
Tel: +47 97 715 013

Ms Tuula Franck
Press manager
Wärtsilä Corporation
Tel: + 358 400 267555

Ms Marit Holmlund-Sund
Public Relations Manager
Wärtsilä Corporation
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1439

Wärtsilä in Norway in brief
Wärtsilä Norway AS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wärtsilä Corporation in Finland, a company that provides its customers with complete lifecycle power solutions. In Norway, Wärtsilä has more than 1,100 employees who develop, produce, repair and maintain gears and propulsion systems for all types and sizes of vessels and offshore installations. Furthermore, the company develops and produces complete automation and control systems for electric propulsion and dynamic positioning. Wärtsilä Corporation has experienced major growth in Norway during recent years, and has acquired AKPAS (2006), Maritime Service (2008) and the ship design company Vik-Sandvik (2008).

Wärtsilä in brief
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 17,000 professionals manning 160 Wärtsilä locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on The Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.