ABB has centralized its unique know-how around the Azipod® innovation in a new purpose-built production plant in the harbour area of Vuosaari, Helsinki. The factory investment of more than 30 million Euro includes about 10 000 square meters of production and office premises. The new factory will be inaugurated on November 9 by Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of Helsinki.

The factory optimizes production of the electric Azipod propulsion systems, improving efficiency and doubling the assembly and testing capacity. Centralizing all special skills within the same facilities will improve internal communication and the ability to meet the demands of an increasing number of customers. The location in the Vuosaari harbour is logistically excellent since the propulsion units can be loaded directly on a freighter to be shipped all around the world.

The Marine unit of ABB Finland employs 200 persons in production development, project planning, maintenance and production of electric propulsion and power systems. This year the unit has recruited dozens of professionals. At the moment, 20 engineers are being sought for specialist and management tasks. Network suppliers included, the employment effect of the plant increases to 700 persons.

”ABB's investment in the development of business operations in Finland is based on the innovative engineering expertise of the Marine sector,” says business unit director Lasse Mäkelin. "Maintaining global competitiveness requires the constant development of operations and the new factory gives us better possibilities than before to do that."

With the factory investment ABB is responding to the increasing demand for electric propulsion systems. The growth is strongest in Asia, but Russia is also a significant potential growth area. ABB's market share as a global supplier of propulsion systems is almost 50 per cent. Our partners include shipping companies and shipyards that operate or build cruise vessels, ice breaking vessels, offshore vessels and special-purpose ships. In addition to advanced technology, the special characteristics in the business are safety