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Wärtsilä: Why digitalisation should not be seen as an additional cost

Shipowners are misinterpreting digitalisation as an additional cost, argues one of Europe’s greatest maritime digital advocates in an exclusive interview with Maritime CEO today.

Roger Holm, currently president of Wärtsilä’s marine solutions, will lead Wärtsilä Marine Business, when the Finnish technology firm splits its business units at the start of next year. Holm has been with Wärtsilä for his entire career, a timeframe that has seen the company transform from its engine origins to become an all-round service provider and a pioneer in revolutionary tech changing the face of shipping.

“Digitalisation should not be seen as an additional cost,” Holm says, adding: “Our aim is to work with owners to demonstrate how digitalisation can offer real value, this can be through fuel savings and lower maintenance costs for example, which have only been made possible thanks to connectivity.”

Wärtsilä employees have had an incredibly busy year fielding questions from customers over what to do with the impending IMO-mandated global sulphur cap. The legislation, Holm believes, has forced owners to think more than perhaps ever before about their carbon footprint.

“We see a clear trend towards more environmental awareness and requests for improved efficiency and reduction in emissions,” Holm says. “Owners are now evaluating the life-cycle impact before making investment decisions. Owners are looking for predictability through better opex awareness and are coming to us with very clear fuel strategies.”

Holm is adamant that LNG will have an increasing role going forward, while Wärtsilä continues to explore all manner of other alternative fuels for shipping.

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