Inauguration in the Netherlands - Expansion of marine thruster factory supports Wärtsilä’s growth

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release 23 January 2008 at 14:30 UTC+2

Wärtsilä today inaugurated the expansion of its thruster factory in Drunen, the Netherlands. “World trade has grown over 7% annually on average during the last six years. Ship orders have grown strongly during the same period. We are investing in production capacity in order to respond to the strong demand in the marine and offshore markets, and to support our growth targets,” said Ole Johansson, President & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation at the inauguration event.

In 2007 Wärtsilä invested globally approximately EUR 170 million in production. This year Wärtsilä plans to invest approximately EUR 200 million globally.
Ship owners are paying increasing attention to running costs and environmental factors. Wärtsilä provides solutions that optimize overall efficiencies to meet these requirements. “In Drunen, we have our knowledge centre for propulsion efficiency, as well as the competency to produce efficient propulsion systems. Our propulsion productions in Europe and China make us the world’s leading propeller manufacturer”, Mr Johansson added.

The Netherlands is one of the most important marine countries in the world and home to an extensive network of suppliers, efficient shipyards and professional design companies. The Dutch marine markets and service operations are expected to continue growing in the coming years.

Wärtsilä invests EUR 10 million

The expansion is part of an approximately EUR 10 million investment programme at the Drunen factory that is being implemented during 2007 and 2008. Around 100 thrusters a year will be manufactured at the new facilities. These steerable thrusters are used on tugs, offshore support vessels and other special purpose vessels, as well as on oil and gas drilling and production rigs and other offshore applications that require a high degree of manoeuvrability and position keeping. The new capacity will be fully utilised by 2009. The new facilities in Drunen will employ a workforce of 40 once the production capacity is in full use. The additional personnel will be recruited and trained, for the most part, locally.

Wärtsilä employs 1500 people in the Netherlands

Wärtsilä currently employs 1500 people at its four main units in the Netherlands, including approximately 700 people at the Drunen factory, which manufactures propellers and thrusters. A centre of expertise for propulsion systems is also located in Drunen. In addition, Wärtsilä in the Netherlands has operations in Zwolle, Schiedam and Kruiningen. With its extensive marine services operations, employing 950 people, Wärtsilä in the Netherlands is one of the country’s main marine services providers.

Globally Wärtsilä manufactures a total of 1500 propulsion systems annually, including fixed pitch propellers, controllable pitch propellers and thrusters. In addition to the Netherlands, Wärtsilä manufacturers propellers in Norway, Spain and China.

For more information, please call: Fred van Beers, Managing Director, Wärtsilä Netherlands, tel: +31 416 388 256 or
Jari Salo, Vice President, Delivery Centre Propulsion, Wärtsilä Industrial Operations, tel: +31 651 016 594

Media contact:
Marit Holmlund-Sund
Public Relations Manager
Wärtsilä Corporation
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1439
Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425

Notes to the editor:
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 150 Wärtsilä locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on The Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.