Finnish ship engine maker Wärtsilä has announced plans to ramp down manufacturing in Trieste, Italy as it centralizes its European 4-stroke engine building business to Vaasa, Finland.
The closing of the plant could result in approximately 450 layoffs, Wärtsilä said.
“It is a part of our strategy to continuously monitor our manufacturing capacity and footprint to ensure that our operational efficiency remains competitive,” says Håkan Agnevall, President and CEO of Wärtsilä. “Over the years we have continuously consolidated our manufacturing footprint in Europe. With our new European manufacturing footprint, we are taking the next step in strengthening our competitiveness and creating a structure enabled for future growth. Italy and Trieste will continue to be very important for Wärtsilä in many areas as we aim to be part of shaping the decarbonisation of marine and energy industries.”
Wärtsilä’s history in Trieste dates back to 1997 when it became a shareholder in Grandi Motori Trieste before taking full ownership two years later.
Manufacturing started with both 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines, including the largest 4-stroke engine ever produced, the W64. Its current production line includes Wärtsilä’s four-stroke engine series, including the Wärtsilä 26, Wärtsilä 38, Wärtsilä 46, 46F, 46 DF, Wärtsilä 50DF and Wärtsilä 50SG, as well as propulsion components.
Wärtsilä website says its Italian operations employ approximately 1,300 people, including 1,100 employed in Trieste. It wasn’t immediately clear if those numbers were current.
Wärtsilä said the closing of the plant will result in annual savings of 35 million euros by 2025. Discussions between Wärtsilä and employee representatives, as well as Italian authorities and institutions, will start in line with Italian law.
“Under the challenging circumstances of the past years, our employees in Trieste have done a commendable job. However, we need to centralise our manufacturing footprint in Europe to further improve our competitiveness,” says Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä’s Marine Power business. “I would like to underline that Italy and Trieste will remain very important for Wärtsilä. Going forward our site in Trieste will focus on R&D, sales, project management, sourcing, service and training activities. A main part of our employees in Trieste are engaged in these activities today. In the development of the future sustainable solutions for marine and energy industries we are investigating possibilities for future investments in Trieste related to the development of technology for sustainable fuels.”
Wärtsilä’s said the move will not impact its engine portfolio, service levels to customers, or supply chain.