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A merry time for Finnish maritime

Cadmatic is participating in a seven-million-euro EU research project developing smart shipbuilding solutions.


Finnish maritime companies have announced various developments – from deals to supply technology for ocean-going vessels to funding for making leisure boating more accessible.

Wärtsilä, a Finnish technology provider for the energy and marine industries, has reported two new orders in the maritime space in 2023.

The Helsinki-based company revealed this month it has been selected to supply handling and fuel-supply systems for four large ethane carriers built for Hong-Kong’s Pacific Gas at Jiangnan Shipyard in China. It will also provide a variety of services during the shipbuilding project, ranging from detailed engineering to commissioning and supervision services.

The carriers will be powered by the same fuel they have been designed to chiefly transport, ethane.

“The aim with all our products is to secure good quality and functionality that supports optimal operations for the vessel, while adding value to the customer’s business,” outlined Harald Øverland, head of sales for fuel-supply systems and bunker and small-scale vessels at Wärtsilä.

Wärtsilä has put pen to paper on two contracts that will see it deliver fuel supply systems for cargo ships under construction in China.

Wärtsilä Corporation

The company estimated that the order will strengthen its position as a market leader for systems for large ethane carriers. The equipment are to be delivered to the shipyard in the first half of next year, with the first carrier to begin commercial operation in the second half of 2025.

Wärtsilä in January reported that it has secured an order to deliver a liquefied natural gas supply system, propulsion control system, and alarm control and monitoring system for four dual-fuel container ships built at a shipyard of Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding in China.

The company said its gas supply system will feed fuel from a 7 500-cubic metre membrane tank to both the main and auxiliary engines of the vessels. The delivery will also include boil-off gas bunkering and management stations and a fuel control system integrated with the propulsion and alarm control systems.

Øverland said the system has been designed also with the use of ammonia in mind.

“What’s more,” added Chris Chung, regional sales director at Wärtsilä, “our well-proven, future-proof solutions enable owners and operators to lower operating costs while complying with current and anticipated environmental regulations.”

Wärtsilä continues to push the boat out for marine engineering.


The deliveries are to be made in early 2024. The vessels, each with a capacity of 8 200 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), will be delivered to Pacific International Lines, a shipping company incorporated in Singapore, in 2025.

Support for data-driven shipbuilding, lower-emission shipping

Cadmatic, a Turku-based developer of design and engineering software, has revealed it is part of the academia-industry consortium in charge of Smart European Shipbuilding, an EU-funded project that set sail in January.

The consortium seeks to create a framework for data-driven shipbuilding by developing a platform that incorporates early and detailed ship design solutions, data management, and collaboration software. The platform will be designed to reduce the time required for ship engineering by 30 per cent and assembly by 20 per cent.

The Finnish company is responsible for leading the technological coordination of the four-year project.

“We are proud to be leading the technical coordination and working alongside the other consortium partners on this ambitious project,” stated Ludmila Seppälä, business development manager at Cadmatic.

Cadmatic specialises in developing design and engineering software.


The platform is expected to yield new practices for human-centric knowledge management, data-driven design elements, intelligent technology, and a new industrial concept for shipbuilding. It will also contribute to the growth of a workforce that is skilled in the deployment and use of advanced computational tools in shipbuilding, particularly for the integration of new technologies.

Bringing together eight organisations from five countries in Europe, the roughly seven-million-euro project is part of Horizon Europe, the flagship research and innovation programme of the EU.

Norsepower, a rotor sail manufacturer based in Rauma, Southwest Finland, in January announced the securing of a capital loan worth up to 10 million euros from the Finnish Climate Fund. The loan will fund a 25-million-euro effort to expand the rotor sail assembly line, according to Offshore Energy.

The company estimates that its rotor sails can, depending on wind conditions, reduce the fuel consumption of a vessel by 5–25 per cent and thereby contribute notably to reducing shipping emissions.

Norsepower is a Finnish developer of rotor sails, large vertical rotors that generate propulsion through the Magnus effect.


Shipping accounts for roughly 2.5 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions globally and 13.5 per cent of the emissions in Europe.

Paula Laine, CEO of the Finnish Climate Fund, stated that the reduction of shipping emissions – “an important step on the way to carbon-neutral logistics and transport” – requires various parallel solutions, similarly to many other climate challenges.

“Norsepower’s rotor sails are an immediately available solution, especially for emissions-intensive ocean tankers,” she said.

Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said the capital loan from the state-owned special-assignment firm will accelerate the scale-up of production considerably and lend the company credibility abroad.

In addition to the loan, which comes with a market-based interest rate, the company has secured a convertible bond loan of 6.5 million euros from its owners and Nefco. The loan has been earmarked for investing in its production hub in China.

Norsepower has a subsidiary in Hong Kong and Yancheng.

Finland’s Skipperi has set its course for two new markets after securing seven million euros in equity funding.

Mike B / Pexels

Sharing a “wonderful hobby”

One Finnish company making waves in the boating hobbiest space is Skipperi, a Helsinki-based startup on a mission to spread the joys of boating, reported last month that it has wrapped up a seven-million-euro equity funding round led by Yamaha Motor. The funding injection will see the startup set its course for the markets in Australia and the US.

ToshiakiIbata, head of marine business at Yamaha Motor, described Skipperi as “an essential partner” for the Japanese company.

“It’s the only tech company that has developed and is already operating an efficient digital platform capable of providing seamless services to help more people enjoy the ocean and solve the inefficient and high-cost daily operations many boat club businesses face,” he stated. “We hope to create a stronger relationship and accelerate the development of the sharing economy through this investment.”

Skipperi is looking to make boating more accessible and less complicated with its shared-use subscription service and platform that enables boat owners to rent out their boats to qualified boaters. The entire process is completed through an app, with the startup responsible for taking care of the availability, equipment, insurance and maintenance of its 400-boat fleet.

The fleet is spread across six geographies: Canada, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.

The startup also provides practical and theoretical training to users, and requires that everyone not only passes its boating exam but also satisfies all local permit requirements. It additionally utilises geofencing and artificial intelligence to provide boaters real-time information on boating conditions, such as water depth, speed restrictions, hazardous zones and wildlife protection areas.

Last year, it recorded more than 40 000 boat bookings.

Kristian Raij, CEO of Skipperi, revealed that 53 per cent of users signed up for the service due to the prohibitive cost of boat ownership.

“Boating has been traditionally quite hard to access, requiring a lot of time and money,” he commented. “So we aim to get more new people into boating, and this investment means we can expand our operations to get more people to safely enjoying this wonderful hobby.”

Maritime roots

Finland's marine industry has a history dating back to the start of shipbuilding along River Aura in Turku back to 1732, according to Marine Finland. The southwestern city continues to host the largest shipyard in the country today, Meyer Turku.

While shipbuilding remains the largest and best known segment of the marine industry, the industry includes not only of shipyards but also component and technology suppliers and consulting and ship design companies.

Together with the marine industry, port, shipping and other support operations make up a maritime cluster of around 3 000 companies and 40 500 employees.

The cluster reported combined revenue of approximately 11.7 billion euros in 2020, a decrease of almost 20 per cent from the previous year in part because of the effects of COVID-19. About two-thirds, or 7.7 billion euros of the total was derived from the marine industry, 2.2 billion euros from shipping and other maritime-related industries, and 1.6 billion euros from port operations.

By: Aleksi Teivainen