Wärtsilä announces the opening of its new Expertise Centre in Houston, Texas, which will deliver remote support to its U.S. and Canadian energy sector customers, thereby enhancing the company’s ability to grow its service business. The Expertise Centre will act as a central operational hub by integrating all available data sources and is compliant with essential requirements in the U.S. such as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) protocols.

The facility features advanced technology and highly developed security. Wärtsilä customers can receive 24/7 support, along with unmatched guidance, real-time data analytics, and quick response to plant issues. The centre is staffed with experienced technical specialists having expert knowledge of Wärtsilä’s power plant and energy storage technologies, including the company’s sophisticated GEMS Digital Energy Platform, which enables Wärtsilä to optimise power systems for its customers.

Houston Expertise Centre enables improved plant performance and availability through the enhanced use of data and analytics. Furthermore, it helps to reduce the need for on-site visits by field service engineers to resolve issues. As a result, plant availability is increased, while travel time and expenses are saved. Scheduled visits will also benefit from advanced planning facilitated by the centre’s  remote access capabilities, thereby enabling diagnostics, troubleshooting, and parts ordering ahead of the visit. Field service engineers thus have enhanced preparation capabilities.

In addition to providing customers with remote support, Houston Expertise Centre helps power plant operators improve asset efficiency and reduce operation costs by utilising the predictive maintenance service Expert Insight. This takes predictive maintenance to the next level by using cutting-edge artificial intelligence models and advanced rule-based diagnostics for anomaly detection. With expert help from a Wärtsilä Expertise Centre, the advisory service provides crews with invaluable support by detecting minor problems and ensuring they are addressed before they become major issues. By the end of 2021, Expert Insight had been applied to more than 170 installations.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for remote support services at sites across the globe. In addition to the Houston Expertise Centre, Wärtsilä has six other Expertise Centres strategically located around the world, collectively supporting 250+ power plants globally. In 2019, 62% of incoming support cases were successfully solved remotely. In 2020, despite growing demand for remote  support due to the pandemic and its restrictions, the success rate increased to 92%, and in 2021 this was improved to 96%. The effectiveness can be measured by the fact that of the support cases processed in 2021, 91% were solved during the same day they were received.

Wärtsilä long-term service agreement with an Italian industrial company

Wärtsilä has signed a ten-year long-term service agreement covering two industrial combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Italy. The plants operate with highly efficient Wärtsilä 31SG gas engines, and supply electricity, steam, and hot water for industrial use. The agreement took effect in January 2022, and the order intake was booked in Q4, 2021.

The Guaranteed asset performance agreement covers altogether five Wärtsilä 31SG gas engines, and is designed to ensure the plants’ reliability and availability, which are essential for maintaining the customer’s production schedules. The full maintenance scope includes an availability guarantee that is implemented with a resident engineer on site plus remote support from Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centre in Trieste. 

Wärtsilä has a strong presence in Italy with a delivery centre and an Energy Expertise Centre in Trieste, and service offices in Genoa, Naples, and Taranto. To date, the company has delivered 1,411 MW of power plant capacity to Italy, of which 709 MW are currently covered by Wärtsilä long-term service agreements.


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