Wärtsilä has announced plans to build a next-generation innovation and production centre, Smart Technology Hub, in Vaasa, Finland, with an investment of €200m.

The centre is expected to house Wärtsilä’s current functions and employees in central Vaasa, as well as the logistics and maintenance workshop operations in Runsor, Finland.

The Smart Technology Hub is part of Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine and Smart Energy visions. The company plans to spend €83m in advanced testing and production technology to be installed at the hub.

Wärtsilä president and CEO Jaakko Eskola said: “This company was established in 1834 as a sawmill in the village of Värtsilä in Tohmajärvi, and now it is the global leader in smart technology and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets.

“The Vaasa Smart Technology Hub represents another generational shift for us – it will bring Wärtsilä’s expertise into a whole new realm.”

“The Smart Technology Hub will become an important part of Wärtsilä’s worldwide network of centres of expertise.”

Scheduled to be opened in 2020, the Smart Technology Hub will be developed to facilitate more efficient testing and development of solutions for maritime, oil and gas industries, as well as new energy systems.

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Wärtsilä R&D and Engineering director Hannu Mäntymaa said: “The Smart Technology Hub will become an important part of Wärtsilä’s worldwide network of centres of expertise.

“By sharing what we have learned in our various units, we will be able to provide our customers with even better products and services.

“We will develop processes at the Vaasa Smart Technology Hub, which we will be able to deploy in other locations.”

Wärtsilä currently employs around 3,000 people in Vaasa, as well as nearly 400 employees in Turku, and almost 500 in Helsinki.

The company is also involved in developing new business premises in various places in Finland, including Runsor, and Salmisaari, Helsinki.

The Wärtsilä Helsinki Campus in Salmisaari is expected to be completed within this year. The value of these investments is nearly €20m.