Wärtsilä is shipping two generator sets to be used to ease the local power shortage on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. Cebu was one of the regions most damaged in November by Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest ever storm to make landfall. Local Wärtsilä companies have also donated funds and necessary supplies to the storm-stricken people.
The two 107 kilowatt generator sets will be shipped from Rotterdam at the end of December.
“By Wärtsilä standards these might not be huge engines, but you have to remember where they are going. Fuel availability is a constant problem in the disaster area. Both of these engines are still powerful enough to make a significant contribution locally. Just one of them could easily power a small hospital or machinery on a construction site,” explains Erwin Vanderkerff, Managing Director of Wärtsilä in the Philippines.
After the engines reach Cebu, they will be shipped to where they are needed the most. Electricity has been in short supply in the region ever since the storm, and there is a special need for generators that can be easily deployed and moved from one location to another on an as needed basis.
To make sure the engines are properly run and maintained, the local Wärtsilä team is planning to send a field service engineer to supervise the installation and operation of the generators.
Wärtsilä employees active in supporting the relief efforts
While Wärtsilä’s own operations and employees in the Philippines remained unharmed by the storm, they have not been idle in the relief efforts. Immediately after the news, monetary and material donations were gathered from among staff in several countries.
“Every employee here has donated an hour’s salary or more, which we handed over to the local Red Cross,” says Maureen Abubo from Wärtsilä in the Philippines. The local employee donations were matched by the company.
Similar drives for donations have since been set up in a number of countries by local Wärtsilä companies. Apart from money, individual companies and people have also collected needed materials.
“It has been great to see how Wärtsilä employees have actively initiated ways to help people in the crisis area. By providing generator sets, Wärtsilä wanted to give concrete aid that relates to our own expertise and business,” says Marko Vainikka, Director for Corporate Relations and Sustainability at Wärtsilä Corporation.