Wartsila to Expand Drunen Marine Thruster Factory

Wartsila has inaugurated the expansion of its thruster factory in Drunen, the Netherlands.

"World trade has grown over 7% annually on average during the last six years," said Ole Johansson, president & CEO of Wartsila Corporation at the inauguration event. "Ship orders have grown strongly during the same period. We are investing in production capacity in order to respond to the strong demand in the marine and offshore markets, and to support our growth targets."

In 2007 Wartsila invested globally approximately $248 million in production. This year Wartsila plans to invest approximately $291 million globally.

The expansion is part of an approximately $14.6 million investment program at the Drunen factory that is being implemented during 2007 and 2008. Around 100 thrusters a year will be manufactured at the new facilities. These steerable thrusters are used on tugs, offshore support vessels and other special purpose vessels, as well as on oil and gas drilling and production rigs and other offshore applications that require a high degree of maneuverability and position keeping. The new capacity will be fully utilized by 2009. The new facilities in Drunen will employ a workforce of 40 once the production capacity is in full use. The additional personnel will be recruited and trained, for the most part, locally.

Globally Wartsila manufactures a total of 1500 propulsion systems annually, including fixed pitch propellers, controllable pitch propellers and thrusters. In addition to the Netherlands, Wartsila manufactures propellers in Norway, Spain and China.

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