June 28, 2007
Wärtsilä expands Chinese propeller production
Wärtsilä's joint venture company in China, Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang Propeller Co Ltd, today inaugurated its new propeller factory at Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province.
The company will be the biggest fixed-pitch propeller manufacturer in China. The new factory doubles Wärtsilä's capacity to manufacture this type of propeller.
In the past ten years Chinese shipbuilding output has increased by 500 percent.
"Doubling the production capacity is a logical step, as shipbuilding in China is experiencing such tremendous growth. Together with our joint venture company, we are now able to offer advanced propulsion systems up to the largest sizes required," said Mr Ole Johansson, President & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation in the inauguration event in Zhenjiang today.
The new factory has more than doubled annual production output to 6,500 tonnes of propellers. The new maximum size of propeller that can be produced at the Zhenjiang factory is suitable for the largest containerships currently envisaged with individual propellers weighing up to 140 tonnes.
The joint venture Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang Propeller Co Ltd was set up in 2004 by Wärtsilä (55%) and Zhenjiang CME Ltd (45%), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). The total investment in the new factory is EUR 10 million.
About 80 percent of the world's newbuildings use fixed-pitch (FP) propellers of the type manufactured in the new factory and about 15 to 20 percent of factory's production will be exported.
The new Zhenjiang factory will concentrate on larger FP propellers, with diameters of more than 5 m and is designed for an annual production of some 200 propellers of that sizes, meantime Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang manufactures FP propellers up to a maximum of 70 tonnes unit weight in its original factory.
The new factory also allows the company to machine propeller shafts so that the company can deliver complete FP propeller packages with complete shaft lines and accessories.
The new factory began test production on June11. By September it is planned to have 150 employees. It will be up to full production in the second half 2008 when it is planned to have about 240 employees.
Production methods at the two factories are very similar. There is a single quality management team serving both factories according to ISO 9000 accreditation and Wärtsilä quality standards and procedures.
The new factory is located about five minutes drive from the current factory. The large FP propellers can be readily shipped from the Zhenjiang port on the Yangtze river to shipyard customers.
The existing propeller factory of Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang will be developed as a modern manufacturing unit for small FP propellers with diameters from 0.5 m up to 5 m along with components for controllable-pitch propellers (CPP). The company has invested, among other equipments, in a state-of-the-art CNC machine for CPP blades.
The head office of Wärtsilä CME Zhenjiang will remain at the current factory.
Wärtsilä is steadily expanding its capacity in China. where it now has five manufacturing works and three engine-building licensees.
In addition to the two Zhenjiang factories for propellers and shaft lines, Wärtsilä has another propulsion production facility in China at Wuxi that now manufactures all of Wärtsilä's transverse thrusters. Deliveries are to both China's shipbuilding industry and global markets.
The joint venture company Wärtsilä Qiyao Diesel Co Ltd (Shanghai) began the manufacture of complete marine diesel generating sets in June 2006.
The joint venture Qingdao Qiyao Wärtsilä MHI Linshan Marine Diesel Co Ltd (QMD) was established in 2007 to manufacture low-speed marine diesel engines.
Wärtsilä has three licensees in China: Dalian Marine Diesel Works (DMD), Hudong Heavy Machinery Co Ltd (HMM) and Yichang Marine Diesel Engine Plant (YMD). Wärtsilä and the licensees have a long established cooperation in the manufacture of Wärtsilä low-speed engines.