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Speech by Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä at the Wärtsilä Sustainable Hub ceremony

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 2.6.2022 15.16

Honorable Håkan Agnevall, CEO and President of Wärtsilä, dear Ladies and Gentlemen, dear audience

I have the honor to present the Greetings of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment here Ceremony of the inauguration of Wärtsilä’s Sustainable Technology Hub in Vaasa. 

As we all know, Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. The company emphasises innovation in sustainable technology and services to help global customers to improve their environmental and economic performance.

Now Wärtsilä is making history by having made a significant investment of over 200 million euros in Finland, and particularly in the Vaasa region, where the company has been a driving force for a long time. 

Vaasa, in the Ostrobothnian coast of Finland, has the leading energy cluster in the Nordic countries. The city of Vaasa is one of the key players in the industry and its playground in Finland. Together the City of Vaasa and Wärtsilä are on a journey to discover a more sustainable future for the globe. 

And of course, Vaasa region, known for its beautiful nature and urban city, offers a large selectionof cultural events. 

By building this new Sustainable Technology hub, Wärtsilä is not only setting up a new building and platform for innovation, but also building a new innovation paradigm to Finland. This is a significant investment in innovation by any standard. 

From the Ministry’s point of view, we are, of course, very happy that Wärtsilä continues to have confidence in Vaasa and Finland as a key location for its world leading production, development and testing operations. The Hub will provide a variety of high skilled jobs and a fertile economic environment for a number of companies. 

Ministry also finds it equally important that Wärtsilä leads the way for other Finnish companies. Finland has relied on the strong technology base for success in international trade for a long time. 

But above all, we find it important and very inspiring that The Sustainable Technology Hub is a generational shift in innovation. We need such a shift for the industry and the whole business sector in Finland. 

There is a heavy emphasis on innovation in the present governmental program of Finland. The goal is set to 4 % of GDP into R&D-investments in Finland. This goal is ambitious and can only be met by building a good environment for companies to invest in innovation in Finland. Public financing can help and share risk but will remain only a small part of the total investment. 

As the Minister who is also in charge of energy policies in Finland, I am very pleased and proud that the Sustainable Technology Hub will be located in Finland. It boosts competencies in renewable energy technologies that help the world to respond to the climate change. 

One keyword is decarbonisation with the aim to reduce emissions and ensure power availability with the lowest achievable cost of electricity. 

The target is to identify and implement the solutions needed to decarbonise the power systems, taking into consideration their long-term planning and CO2 emission reduction targets.

Our holistic approach builds on our extensive capabilities in power system modelling and analysis, energy system optimisation, and flexible power generation technologies. The target is that all of our energy will be renewable in the future. 

I know that decarbonising power generation is not a simple task. The challenge lies in selecting and employing the right solutions and technologies efficiently, economically, and at the right times. 

In the current situation, where we want to move away from fossil fuels and imported energy from Russia, increasing self-sufficiency is vital. Therefore, the possibilities in the area of fossil free carbon economy has to be explored more intensively. 

Today, it is important to strengthen our strategic independence and bring stability. Energy
sector - including bioenergy - is a question of both climate and security. 

In this work and for its part, Wärtsilä is competent to play crucial role. 

Dear audience, by these words, I want to congratulate Wärtsilä and City of Vaasa for this
significant investment 
Thank you. 

Mika Lintilä