Shanghai: Leading Finnish power firm, Wartsila, will debut a brand new generation of engines this summer, something president and ceo, Björn Rosengren admits will be “a big thing”.
The new range of engines follow on from Wartsila’s new product programme for propulsion, which it is marketing now.
Wartsila spends between 3% and 4% of its turnover on research and development with Rosengren saying: “The whole name of the game is to launch new products.”
Warsila recently bought out L-3 Marine Systems, a company which delivers automation, navigation and electrical systems. “That’s a new area where we want to be strong at,” says Rosengren.
On the current shipping markets, Rosengren is decidedly cautious. “ There is still overcapacity in the global shipping market and there are still challenges in the world economy,” he says, while noting the drop in oil prices will bring difficulties for the offshore sector, but relief for the merchant shipping. On the shipbuilding front, Rosengren admits prices are still “pretty low”, but at least they appear to have bottomed out.
Wartsila continues to field a huge raft of questions from owners on LNG as a ship fuel, a topic that Rosengren feels will only get more and more hot.
“I think every shipowner is thinking when to start to use LNG as fuel. That’s driven very much by the environmental legislations,” he says, noting the new emission control areas (ECAs) that started this year. “We think 2025 will be an important year,” he says, “because that’s when IMO will introduce the same legislation in the rest of the world. That’s when we think the big transformation towards LNG will happen.”