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Annual Report 2013

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Market outlook

Despite slower economic growth in the emerging markets, growth in electricity demand and the availability of international funding for infrastructure projects will continue to support power plant investments. In the industrialised countries, the slow economic growth continues to limit demand for new power plants, except in North America where the market situation is more positive for gas-fired power plants. The megatrend towards renewable energy sources is evident, with investments expected to favour utility scale solar photovoltaic installations. Furthermore, distributed, flexible, gas fired power generation continues to gain ground globally. Electricity markets are being developed to reward the necessary flexibility, thereby enabling new profitable investments. Wärtsilä’s systematic market development work in these markets will continue to promote the benefits of Smart Power Generation.

The outlook for the shipping and shipbuilding markets remains challenging. Overcapacity and weak earnings continue to limit the demand for new vessels in the merchant segment, while low oil prices are impacting investments in offshore exploration and development. In the gas carrier markets, the demand for both LNG and LPG carriers remains under pressure due to the low oil and gas prices and supply-demand imbalances. The outlook for the cruise and ferry segment remains positive. Cruise vessel demand is supported by increasing passenger volumes, particularly in Asia, while the contracting of ferries is supported by fleet renewals in Europe, the potential implementation of new emission regulations, and favourable newbuilding prices. 

The service market outlook remains solid with growth opportunities in selected regions and segments. An increase in the installed base of medium-speed engines and propulsion equipment, as well as the shift to gas based technology, offsets the slower service demand for older installations and the uncertainty regarding short-term demand development in the merchant marine segment. In the offshore segment, the growth in the installed base during recent years is expected to partially compensate for the challenging outlook in certain regions. The service outlook for gas-fuelled vessels remains favourable. Service demand in the power plant segment continues to be good with an especially positive outlook in the Middle East and Africa. Customers in both the marine and power plant markets continue to show interest in long-term service agreements.

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