Wärtsilä, a provider of power plant and ship power solutions and services, opened new offices and a workshop in Panama. Located in the International Business Park of Panama Pacifico, the new facilities are intended to meet growing market demand from customers in the area. The new workshop enables Wärtsilä to offer a wide range of services for engines, electrical and automation systems, propellers and thrusters, and to provide reconditioning services.
"Panama's strategic importance as one of Latin America's largest logistics centres and as a major area for ship servicing will grow in importance along with the expansion of the Panama Canal," said Markku Aspholm, General Manager, Wärtsilä in Panama.
Each year, some 15,000 vessels pass through the 80-kilometre canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. By investing in new machinery, Wärtsilä has been able to extend its range of workshop service offerings to customers to include maintenance of two-stroke components, propulsion unit services, electrical and automation services, and reconditioning services. The metallurgical repair of propellers is another important service segment now being offered.
The new International Business Park in Panama Pacifico is being developed into a 26-hectare industrial and logistics park with corporate offices, call centres and facilities for distribution and light assembly companies. Hotels and the on-site airport provide travellers with easy access. As Panama Pacifico is a special economic area, certain industries benefit from special labour, legal, customs, immigration and tax incentives.
Wärtsilä's newly constructed facilities consist of offices covering 440 square metres and 1500 square metres of workshop space, a five-fold increase over existing arrangements. The range of services offered will be extended and the staff will be increased through the recruitment of 12 new employees. These new recruits will receive orientation training at the Wärtsilä Land and Sea Academy. The company will employ 45 professionals in Panama by the end of 2010.