The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a slump in shipbuilding contracting resulted in Wartsila’s marine businesses seeing a 23% decline in new orders in 2020 across the three business segments it operates in.

Commenting on the company’s annual results, outgoing President and CEO, Jaakko Eskola, said: “2020 proved to be an unprecedented year, with Wärtsilä’s end markets heavily affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and the measures taken globally to contain the pandemic.

“Vessel contracting decreased to record low levels, investments in new power plant capacity were postponed, and maintenance activities were pushed out, as the utilisation of installations declined and travel restrictions limited the mobility of service engineers.”

Wartsila noted that only 815 new vessels were contracted in 2020 compared to 1,153 in 2020 and that demand for spare parts and maintenance activities had also softened.

As a result the company’s marine power business saw a 23% drop in new orders to EUR2.25bn in 2020, Marine systems a 28% drop to EUR539m worth of new orders last year, and its voyage business a 16% drop in new orders to EUR262m in 2020.

Across all three segments in marine the decline in new orders averaged 23%. The marine businesses accounted for 61% of Wartsila’s sales in 2021.

Commenting on the outlook Eskola said: “The demand environment is likely to remain challenging in the short term, with near-term demand similar to the levels seen in early 2020. However, vaccine developments have provided some relief to the markets. We expect to see this having a positive effect on our business during the course of 2021, as country level vaccination programmes are implemented on a global scale.”

Source: Seatrade Maritime