CSSC Wärtsilä Engine Co Ltd (CWEC), the joint venture company formed between Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC), has formally opened its new production facilities located at Lingang, Shanghai. The joint venture was established in July, 2014 with CSSC holding 51% of the shares and Wärtsilä the remaining 49%.
Wärtsilä said the new 20,000 m2 production plant is the first in China capable of locally producing large-bore, medium speed diesel and dual-fuel (DF) engines. The plant will also manufacture medium-bore, medium speed diesel and DF engines. Wärtsilä 26, Wärtsilä 32, Wärtsilä 34DF, Wärtsilä 46F and Wärtsilä 46DF engines will be produced at the factory, which has a planned production capacity of 180 engines per year.
“Being close to our customers in order to serve them better is central to Wärtsilä’s global strategy,” said Wärtsilä President & CEO, Jaakko Eskola. “We are, therefore, extremely pleased to officially open this modern production facility, the first in China capable of producing DF engines, which will serve China’s shipbuilding industry with high quality, technologically advanced Wärtsilä marine engines.”
CWEC said it has already booked orders for more than 70 engines and is focused on the cruise, ferry, LNG carrier, offshore, special vessel and large container ship markets, all of which are strategic growth markets for the Chinese shipbuilding sector.
“This is an important day for China’s shipbuilding sector as we now have local availability of both medium and large-bore Wärtsilä diesel and dual-fuel engines,” said Wu Qiang, President of CSSC. “Wärtsilä’s extraordinary technological accomplishments and global reputation have been built on its proud history spanning more than 180 years. With our two companies now standing shoulder to shoulder behind this joint venture, we can anticipate great things for the future.”
Three separate agreements were signed during the opening events. The first was a three-party strategic cooperation agreement between CWEC, Wärtsilä, and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, a subsidiary of CSSC. The three companies will work closely to create closer cooperation. This will include working together on new build vessel project opportunities for engines and other marine equipment, and jointly optimizing vessel concepts in order to improve efficiency and environmental sustainability, while creating added customer value.
In November, a similar agreement was signed with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS), also a part of CSSC. Wärtsilä has cooperated for a number of years with SWS, and this agreement is expected to build on this relationship. SWS is currently the largest commercial shipyard in China.