In March, Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corporation signed a letter of intent to establish a new joint venture company, which will focus on China’s growing market for marine electrical & automation solutions.
In March, Wärtsilä also announced that it had conducted an internal audit of test processes, which brought forward limited deviations in fuel consumption measurement tests conducted for certain marine engines before customer dispatches. Wärtsilä has reached out to customers on an individual basis, as well as reviewed all test procedures, using both internal and external resources, to secure new, more transparent processes and controls. The financial impact of this issue has not been material.
In April, Wärtsilä announced that it would enter the solar energy business by offering utility-scale solar photo-voltaic (PV) solutions. The new solutions include solar PV power plants of 10 MW and above, and hybrid power plants comprising solar PV plants and internal combustion engines. Both solutions are offered with full engineering, procurement and construction capability.
In June, Wärtsilä announced the acquisition of Eniram, a Finland-based technology company providing the marine industry with energy management and analytics solutions. Eniram will enable Wärtsilä to enhance its digital offering and in-house capabilities, specifically in data analytics, modelling and performance optimisation. Ownership of the company transferred to Wärtsilä with effect from 1 July 2016. Wärtsilä also announced the acquisition of American Hydro, a US-based supplier and installer of large equipment upgrades and servicing for the hydroelectric and water distribution industries. Ownership of the company transferred to Wärtsilä with effect from 30 June 2016.
During the second quarter, Wärtsilä transferred its 30% minority stake in the two-stroke joint venture Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) to China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). Following the transaction, CSSC owns 100% of WinGD. Wärtsilä recognised write-downs of EUR 21 million related to the divestment of shares in its financial items for the second quarter of 2016.
In July, Wärtsilä announced that it had entered into a cooperation agreement with U.S.-based Greensmith Energy to further strengthen its energy system integration capabilities. Greensmith Energy, a leading provider of energy storage software and integration services, will provide the full optimisation software needed for hybrid energy systems.
In December, Wärtsilä signed a manufacturing license agreement with Jiujiang Precision Measuring Technology Research Institute, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), based in Jiujiang, China. The two-way agreement provides CSSC with access to technology and the rights to manufacture the Wärtsilä Aquarius EC Ballast Water Management System under license for CSSC customer applications. In return, Wärtsilä gains access to CSSC’s new manufacturing facility, thereby further supporting the supply and demand needs of Wärtsilä customers for the company’s ballast water management systems.
Construction of the CSSC Wärtsilä Engine (Shanghai) Co. Ltd factory in Lingang, Shanghai was finalised in the fourth quarter and the official inauguration took place on 9 January 2017.
Wärtsilä is committed to promoting the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel in the marine and energy industries. In July, Wärtsilä and other leading marine industry players formed a coalition, known as SEA/LNG, with the aim of helping to break down the barriers hindering the global development of LNG in marine applications, thereby improving the environmental performance of the shipping industry. In August, Wärtsilä and Finland based Gasum signed a cooperation agreement aimed at developing the use and distribution, as well as service solutions for natural gas in marine and onshore applications. Wärtsilä will provide the gas value chain technology know-how, while Gasum’s expertise relates to distributing and selling natural gas and biogas. The development work regarding LNG for marine applications will also utilise the expertise of Skangas, a subsidiary of Gasum and the leading LNG player in the Nordic market. In November, Wärtsilä and the French multinational energy company ENGIE signed an agreement to develop solutions and services within the small-scale LNG business sector. This cooperation combines ENGIE’s vast experience in LNG distribution with Wärtsilä’s technical expertise, engineering and construction capabilities, supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy through joint solutions and services.