The energy cluster in Vaasa has always produced spin-offs and WE Tech Solutions (WE Tech) founded in 2010 is one of the latest examples. The company has developed solutions that enable ships to save substantially on fuel costs and thus also reduce their emissions.
“Considering that a ship can use 50 tonnes of fuel per day, the opportunities for savings are huge. The investment pays off in about 1-3 years,” Managing Director Mårten Storbacka explains. Storbacka has profound working experience in the maritime industry and founded WE Tech together with a group of colleagues.
WE Tech is a good example of a fruitful cooperation between the energy technology companies in Vaasa. In its solution the company uses Variable Frequency Drive technology, switch gear and Permanent Magnet technology from companies in the energy cluster in Vaasa. WE Tech has developed dedicated software to control the different solutions and interface with vessel automation systems. The company also handles sales and project management for the whole package.
“The WE-part in our name stems from our will to do things together, with our business partners and our customers. Vaasa is the perfect location for us, since we are so close to key business partners. Furthermore, northern Europe has traditionally been a hotspot for new technology solutions in the marine sector,” Storbacka states.
Despite the strong local roots, WE Tech was born global and the company has aimed for the global market from day one. WE Tech has a strong global presence and a network of agents across the world.
WE Tech sells its solutions to both new buildings as well as to existing vessels looking for an upgrade.
“Technically speaking, it is easier to integrate our solutions into new buildings, but we also deliver and install upgrades to existing vessels when feasible. Building a new vessel is a long process and a project spans over a considerable length of time. Also, in the end of the sales process, we need to convince the shipyard that our solutions are worth investing in,” Storbacka points out.
The calls for lower emissions affecting the merchant marine are growing louder day by day. WE Tech’s ambitious vision is that the global shipping industry should use 30 per cent less fuel by 2030.
WE TECH SOLUTIONS
Business sector: Solutions for fuel saving in ships
Turnover: €6 million (2015 estimate)
Major markets: Global