Wärtsilä’s new propeller plant in China will double production capacity

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release, 28 June 2007 at 09:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä’s joint venture company, Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang Propeller Co Ltd, today inaugurated its new propeller plant in the city of Zhenjiang in China. The new plant will double the company’s production capacity for fixed pitch (FP) propellers, making the company the biggest manufacturer of this type of propellers in China and one of the biggest in the world.

Shipbuilding is growing very fast in China: the output has increased fivefold over the past ten years. The Chinese shipbuilders’ order books by the end of May this year stood at 425 vessels, which corresponds to 45% of the global vessel order intake. This means that China is on the road to becoming the biggest shipbuilding country in the world.

“Doubling the production capacity is a logical step, as shipbuilding in China is experiencing such tremendous growth. Together with our joint venture company, we are now able to offer advanced propulsion systems up to the largest sizes required,” said Mr Ole Johansson, President & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation, in the inauguration event in Zhenjiang today.

The type of fixed pitch propellers that are manufactured at the new plant are used globally in about 80% of all new-buildings. This opens up great opportunities for Wärtsilä in markets outside China as well.

Most of the propellers manufactured at the new plant are sold in the rapidly growing Chinese market, and about 15 to 20% of the output is exported.

Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang Propeller Co Ltd was established in 2004 as a joint venture between Wärtsilä (55%) and Zhenjiang CME Ltd (45%). Zhenjiang CME Ltd is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). The total investment cost of the plant amounts to EUR 10 million.

The first factory of Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang Propeller Co Ltd, established in 2004, concentrates on manufacturing smaller fixed pitch propellers. In addition Wärtsilä has a factory in China, established in 2005, which manufacturers transverse thrusters, and a joint venture manufacturing auxiliary gensets. The manufacturing of low-speed engines will start operations in 2008 in a joint venture company.

For more information, please contact: Mrs Eeva Kainulainen, Vice President, Corporate Communications, tel +358 40 568 0591