The Wärtsilä 32 engine reached an important milestone in March as the 6000th engine rolled out of the Wärtsilä factory in Vaasa, Finland. This engine is efficient, has low emissions, and is able to run on various liquid fuels. The engine still attracts new customers worldwide both in the marine and energy industries. Moreover, most of the engines built 30 years ago are still in use.
In March, the 6000th Wärtsilä 32 engine began its landmark journey from the Wärtsilä factory in Vaasa to a power plant site in Brazil. This 9000 kW engine will become part of a local base load power plant meeting the energy demands of the local community.
The development of the engine, called the Vasa 32 at that time, began during the oil crisis of the 1970s. The aim was to produce a power source with lower energy consumption for the shipbuilding industry, one that could be used as both the main and auxiliary engine, and that would run on heavy fuel oil as well as diesel. The engine would make it possible to eliminate expensive two-fuel systems, and shipowners could save money by using less expensive fuel.
The first Vasa 32 deals were signed in 1979 with a Norwegian shipowner that purchased an engine built in Vaasa for use as a secondary power supply on its cargo ship. The first order for a main engine was received at around the same time, from Norway. The actual market breakthrough took place in the 1980s, when the sales numbers of the engine doubled almost every year.
In the mid-1990s, the engine was renamed the Wärtsilä 32 to give it a more international style. New customers were found in the shipbuilding industry as well as the offshore sector, and gradually also in energy production. In this sector, the first orders came from India, but the engine has been sold also in Europe and in North and South America.
The range of suitable fuel options has been expanded from traditional fuel oil and diesel to include natural gas and new bio fuels.