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Feature 1 | SHIPBUILDING IN CHINA


Wärtsilä moves to support China’s shipbuilding


For more than 30 years, Wärtsilä has been producing marine engines in China and its next move is to establish an engineering centre in the country it regards as one of its most important and fastest growing markets. Sandra Tsui investigates.


become operational in 2011, according to Martin Wernli, president, Wärtsilä Switzerland. Wärtsilä marine products currently being produced in China include low speed engines, propellers, generating sets and thrusters. The engineering centre will be run by experts from Europe as well as local engineers, according to Mr Wernli. “This engineering centre will focus


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on supporting the firm’s production and local engineering capacities for marine products,” explained Mr Wernli. Wärtsilä has no research and development


(R&D) function in China at the moment. It has eight licensees in China, which include subsidiaries under the two largest state-owned shipbuilding groups, China State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industries Corporation, and newcomer Zhuhai Yuchai Marine Power Co Ltd (ZYMP), a subsidiary of Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Group. ZYMP signed a licence agreement


with Wärtsilä last October and it will focus on the manufacturing of engines of 35 to 50cm cylinder bore with the latest of Wärtsilä’s common-rail technology incorporating full electronic control of engine processes. Te plant has received its first order


from Ningbo Donghai Shipping Co which is also the first order for Wärtsilä’s RT-flex35 engines. ZYMP will supply five 6-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex35 common rail diesel engines with a power output of 5220kW (7099 bhp) for a series of five 17,000dwt chemical tankers to be built by Ningbo Shipyard Group in Fujian. Delivery of the first engine is scheduled for August 2011. “About one-third of Wärtsilä’s low speed marine engines are being produced in China


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he latest move from Wärsilä has seen an engineering centre set up in Shanghai and the facility will


Martin Wernli, president, Wärtsilä Switzerland.


at the moment. However, manufacturing capacity in the country was not enough to satisfy the local demands for Wärtsilä marine engines and is currently being built up. Imports from Japan, South Korea and Europe will be needed to a much less extend,” Mr Wernli explained. “In the long run, we expect to have all


the marine engines needed locally to be made in China,” said Mr Wernli. “It is our strategy to be closer to our customers.” Apart from setting up a new engineering


centre in Shanghai, the company also intends to expand the scale of production, range of products being produced and market share in China. In the past, only engines of up to 72cm


cylinder bore were produced in China. Larger engines such as RT-flex82T, RT-flex82C, RT-flex84T, RT-flex96C are mainly imported from South Korea. But today, licensees in China also have


the capacity to produce larger engines. Dalian Marine Diesel, a joint venture between CSIC and Wärtsilä has started to manufacture RT-flex84T engines. “China is one of the most important


and fastest growing markets. We expect to see some big independent players coming up and the industry to move towards the production of higher value added products,” said Mr Wernli. He expects the country’s shipbuilding


industry will be expanding in the coming three years and that there will be a lot of potential in the LNG carrier and offshore sectors. Wärtsilä’s duel fuel engines for LNG carriers are currently produced in Europe and South Korea and the engines for the offshore sectors imported from Europe. Mr Wernli said that these products can be manufactured in China in the future making the production process closer to its customers. NA


The Naval Architect September 2010


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