Inauguration of Wärtsilä’s factory expansion in Vaasa, Finland

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release, 25 September 2007 at 15:00 UTC+2

New production concept boosts capacity and flexibility

Wärtsilä today inaugurated its new assembly hall and logistics centre in Vaasa, Finland. Minister of Trade and Industry Mauri Pekkarinen officiated at the ceremony. Wärtsilä improves quality and efficiency of production processes and increases production capacity by the investment of EUR 30 million in a modern production concept.

The latest investment programme will raise the production capacity of the Vaasa Delivery Centre to a level that corresponds to future market requirements and the needs of flexibility. “The new facilities will allow us to increase production deliveries and provide us with a significantly higher quality way of manufacturing our products. This, in turn, will result in even better quality and a more competitive cost structure," says Juha Kytölä, President of Wärtsilä in Finland.

“To maintain the competitiveness of industry in Europe we have to continuously develop our manufacturing processes. Networking and ever closer co-operation with our Finnish and international partners can help us increase our flexibility and our competitive edge as demand varies. Networking is also a logistical challenge. The aim of our investment was to design a factory that meets these goals. The focus is on assembly and logistics,” says Ole Johansson, President & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation. “We have to remain alert and ready for change whenever it is needed.”

In conjunction with the investment programme, the operating model of the entire factory has been renewed. In the assembly area a modern production line concept has been introduced while new logistics solutions considerably reduce internal traffic in the factory area. Material handling has also been modernized to improve the quality, flow and efficiency of operations.

The overall size of the production area increases with a third. In addition the expansion has created jobs for two hundred additional people within production and other areas. Wärtsilä currently employs approximately 2500 people in Vaasa.

The construction project was particularly challenging, due to the tight schedule required. The first piles were driven in June 2006, the steel frame structure was delivered to the site in October, and assembly of the first engine began in August this year. Additional challenges were created by having to carry out the construction work close to residential areas, and amidst protected buildings within the factory area itself. Furthermore, construction work could not interrupt ongoing production.

Wärtsilä’s Technology & Innovation Award

At the inauguration of the new factory, the winners of Wärtsilä’s Technology & Innovation Award 2007 were also announced. Three teams from the Finnish Research & Development unit in Vaasa received the award for their meritorious work on applying environmentally sound technologies to medium-speed engines. The teams were represented by Mr Tero Raikio, Mr Vesa Nordman and Mr Björn Hallbäck.

”This work is an important part of our research in developing engines and machines to minimize the environmental impact from shipping and electricity generation,” stated Mr Johansson to the award winners.

Wärtsilä’s Board of Management selects the winning entry, based on the criteria of environmental impact, innovativeness, engine performance, cost effectiveness and technological leadership. The award is made every year and this was now the seventh time it has been given.

For further information please contact Mr Juha Kytölä, President of Wärtsilä Finland, phone +358 10 709 2650.

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 15,000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä locations in close to 70 countries around the world.