The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 150 million loan to Wärtsilä to finance the company’s research, development and innovation activities in several European countries. Wärtsilä will invest the funds during 2011-2012 in research activities aimed at further developing the company’s engine technology for both marine and power plant applications. The contract for this 10-year loan was signed in Helsinki, Finland on October 21, 2011.
Wärtsilä has undertaken a major research and development initiative to further develop its 4-stroke engine portfolio as part of the company’s strategy. The principal aim of the initiative is to further strengthen Wärtsilä’s technology leadership position, and to improve its competitive edge in the global marine and energy markets. Wärtsilä will focus on developing engines that are more efficient, more reliable, and with lower lifecycle costs and improved environmental performance. Wärtsilä’s research centers for engine technology are located in Finland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In 2010, Wärtsilä’s total expenditure in research and development was EUR 141 million.
“We are happy to sign this agreement with Wärtsilä, which will bring substantial benefits to the transport and energy sectors in environmental performance and fuel efficiency. These are key considerations for the EIB’s involvement in the world maritime equipment, as well as in the power generation sector,” said Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice President responsible for Finland, at the signing ceremony.
“This R&D loan is a continuation of the longstanding and strong co-operation between the European Investment Bank and Wärtsilä. The loan is highly appreciated as it is an important building block in the long-term funding of investments in research and development work. Cutting edge R&D operations are the key to retain the position of the most competitive supplier in a fast changing global market. Furthermore, this loan also adds to the solid funding position of Wärtsilä that is underlined with the current volatility in the European financial markets,” says Raimo Lind, Executive Vice President and CFO, Wärtsilä Corporation.
The key areas of Wärtsilä’s research and development operations are 4-stroke engines, 2-stroke engines, propulsion, which includes propulsion thrusters, fixed and controllable pitch propellers, as well as gear box systems, seals and bearings, including their integration. In addition, Wärtsilä has been a pioneer in introducing dual-fuel technology for 2- and 4-stroke engines and during recent years has launched a series of gas engines, which offer outstanding fuel flexibility.
Other technologies, such as fuel cells and the use of biofuels in combustion engines, are also central areas of research. Wärtsilä’s successful product development also includes various exhaust gas after treatment solutions, such as scrubbers and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalysts for reducing emissions of harmful sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), respectively. Wärtsilä’s R&D activities employ some 700 specialists globally.
Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2010, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.6 billion with more than 17,500 employees. The company has operations in 160 locations in 70 countries around the world.
(150 million Euros = 206.86500 million U.S. dollars)
Source: Wartsila , October 21, 2011