Peace of mind with the support of Wärtsilä Contract Centre

Peace of mind with the support of Wärtsilä Contract Centre

Many of Wärtsilä’s customers are global marine companies with large fleets of vessels. Managing the day-to-day operations of these global fleets, as well as planning their service and maintenance needs can be a daunting task. This is where the Wärtsilä Contract Centre comes in – providing uninterrupted support and service to Wärtsilä’s customers, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Text: Isabelle Kliger Photo: Wärtsilä

“The Contract Centre monitors our contract customers’ operations and maintenance management needs. In addition, it ensures a high level of quality and safety in operations,” comments Erik Ristiluoma, Wärtsilä’s General manager for Operations and Maintenance management.

The centre employs individuals with expertise linked to specific aspects of vessel and power plant operations. When a customer encounters an issue, the right expert can quickly be called upon to identify and solve it. In this way, the Contract Centre maximises the performance and uptime of customer equipment.

These days, much of this work can be done through online support, whereby the Wärtsilä expert from the Contract Centre connects with the installation in order to carry out remote troubleshooting. In the next step, he or she can remotely tune the malfunctioning equipment or send the necessary files to be downloaded by staff on board. All this depends on the level of connectivity and digitalisation of the installation.

Wärtsilä has seven Contract Centres spread around the world. They are located in Vaasa in Finland, Trieste in Italy, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Chennai in India, Ft. Lauderdale in the U.S., Quito in Ecuador and Manaus in Brazil. Together, they employ close to 100 people.

While the Contract Centres provide the operations  support, most day-to-day needs are managed by the customers’ primary contacts, and their Contract manager, who acts as the liaison between the customer and the Contract Centre at all times.

Wärtsilä has seven Contract Centres spread around the world

Per Rolid (Fleet Manager), Carsten Schultz (Senior Vessel Manager), Rasmus Holm (Contract Manager, Contract Management Norway) and Troels Rasmussen (Vessel Manager). 

The reliable resource

One Contract manager who has established an extremely successful working relationship with his customer is Rasmus Holm, who is responsible for Golar LNG in Oslo, Norway.

He explains that Golar LNG, whose business focuses primarily on LNG trading and LNG transportation, storage and regasification activities, has a fleet of 26 LNG carriers and Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRUs). The company has an extensive maintenance agreement with Wärtsilä, which covers its dual-fuel (DF) engine fleet, comprising 13 vessels and a total installed base of approximately 530MW.

The unique thing about the contract, which includes everything from Condition Based Maintenance reports and Dynamic Maintenance Planning to first-hand  operational remote support, guaranteed availability of service engineers and spare parts, as well as annual budget forecasting and quarterly maintenance reports, is that it also features Rasmus Holm as its dedicated full-time Contract manager. Holm spends three days a week on site at Golar LNG’s Oslo office.

“It’s my job to keep the machinery going and make sure the customer gets the required service from Wärtsilä at all times,” says Holm, adding that, in this connected age, one might think that having staff on site would have become a thing of the past but that this is, in fact, not the case.

“Golar LNG’s 13 vessels with DF machinery have five vessel managers, with whom I need to be in constant communication,” he explains. “Sitting in the same room as them, being able to just turn round and ask a question, really makes the collaboration so much smoother and quicker.”

Carsten Schultz, a Senior Vessel Manager at Golar LNG, agrees that the partnership has benefited enormously from this on-site presence.

“Having a single point of contact who’s next to us three days a week has created an excellent collaboration between Rasmus and the vessel managers,” says Schultz. “If he wasn’t here, if we had to call or email, it would delay the lead-time and delivery.”

Schultz says that, whenever Golar LNG experiences an urgent technical issue, Holm either solves it or contacts the Contract Centre in Finland for an immediate response.

“The truth is that we’ve got to the point when we don’t even notice if there’s a small issue. Everything is handled so efficiently that we’ve come to take it for granted that Rasmus will deal with it,” admits Schultz.

“I believe that one great benefit of this agreement is that Golar LNG relies on our input relating day-to-day operations and service and maintenance, and allows us to do the planning and follow-up of the machinery. This gives them time to focus on their core business,” concludes Holm.

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