Wärtsilä is building a €200m Smart Technology Hub, a new center of research, product development and production, in Vaskiluoto, Vaasa, Finland.
Planned to be commissioned in 2020, the new generation innovation and production center is said to be the latest tangible step in the firm’s Smart Marine and Smart Energy visions.
Upon commissioning of the project, Wärtsilä plans to move its functions and personnel in central Vaasa as well as logistics and maintenance workshop operations from Runsor to the new hub.
Wärtsilä president and CEO Jaakko Eskola said: “This company was established in 1834 as a sawmill in the village of Värtsilä in Tohmajärvi, and now it is the global leader in smart technology and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets.
“The Vaasa Smart Technology Hub represents another generational shift for us – it will bring Wärtsilä’s expertise into a whole new realm.”
Of the total investment, €83m will be invested in modern testing and production technology for the hub, while the remaining will be used for office and factory buildings, logistics and infrastructure.
Wärtsilä R&D and engineering director Hannu Mäntymaa said: “The Smart Technology Hub will become an important part of Wärtsilä’s worldwide network of centers of expertise.
“By sharing what we have learned in our various units, we will be able to provide our customers with even better products and services. We will develop processes at the Vaasa Smart Technology Hub, which we will be able to deploy in other locations.”
The hub will facilitate collaboration between other operators in the sectors and researchers. It will enable more agile, more efficient testing and product development of solutions for the maritime, oil and gas industries, as well as new energy systems.
Wärtsilä said in a statement: “The vision is to create a partners’ campus where research and product development take place together with Wärtsilä’s customers and suppliers, start-ups in the sector and universities.”
The firm said that planning is already underway for the development of the new hub in the Vaasa region, which is claimed to be the leading energy technology cluster in the Nordic region.