Wärtsilä inaugurated its new, state-of-the-art production plant in Wuxi (PR China). This new factory is Wärtsilä's first wholly-owned production venture in China and is focusing on the manufacturing of Lips-brand transverse thrusters. At the inauguration, Ole Johansson, President & CEO of Wärtsilä, declared "China is a remarkably fast-growing market for Wärtsilä. In just one year, we have firmly established our presence in China by putting into operation a joint venture for propeller manufacturing and now starting also the manufacture of thrusters. The next step will be to build auxiliary generating sets in China."
The scope of business for Wärtsilä Propulsion (Wuxi) includes manufacture and assembly of marine propulsion products. Lips transverse thrusters designed for controllable- and fixed-pitch propellers cover a power range from 450 up to 3550 kW, with propeller diameters in the range of 1.2 up to 3.0 m, which caters for virtually every market requirement.
The factory represents an investment of EUR 6.6 million, and utilises state-of-the-art CNC machining technology. Currently it employs 21 people but this will be increased to around 120 employees as production is ramped-up. The factory, which is located about 100 km west of Shanghai, will serve the global shipbuilding market and the major shipbuilding areas in East Asia.Wärtsilä also recently announced another joint venture in China, namely Wärtsilä Qiyao Diesel Co Ltd, which will manufacture Wärtsilä-designed Wärtsilä Auxpac marine generating sets. Production is planned to start in early summer 2006.