The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 150 million loan to Wärtsilä to finance the company's research, development and innovation (RDI) activities in several European countries.
The contract for the 10-year loan was signed in Helsinki, Finland on 13 June 2013, and marks a continuation of the longstanding and strong co-operation between the European Investment Bank and Wärtsilä. With the loan Wärtsilä will continue to develop engines and power plants that are cleaner, more efficient, more reliable and with higher levels of automation, lower lifecycle costs, as well as with improved environmental performance. New maritime emission requirements are expected to increase the demand for more environmentally sound engines and a similar trend is evident in land-based power plants.
In Europe, Wärtsilä has research centers in Finland, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain. In 2012, Wärtsilä's total expenditure in research and development was EUR 188 million, which represents four per cent of the company's net sales. Wärtsilä's R&D activities employ more than 800 specialists globally.
The key areas of Wärtsilä's research and development operations are 4-stroke engines, 2-stroke engines, propulsion, gear box systems, seals and bearings, and their integration. In addition, Wärtsilä has been a pioneer in introducing dual-fuel technology for 2- and 4-stroke engines and during recent years has launched a series of gas engines, which offer outstanding fuel flexibility. Furthermore, environmental and flow & gas technologies are becoming increasingly important areas for research and development.
"We are glad to sign this agreement with Wärtsilä, which will bring substantial benefits to the transport and energy sectors in environmental performance and fuel efficiency. These are central considerations for the EIB's involvement in RDI projects in the maritime and power generation sectors," says Jonathan Taylor, EIB Vice-President.