Hitachi Energy celebrates 110 years of industrial transformer production in Finland

2 min

Hitachi Energy and its Vaasa factory are celebrating a special anniversary year. Throughout this history, both during Strömberg’s era and today, the focus has always been on new development, research and product development.

This year marks 110 years since Strömberg started their production of industrial transformers. Today, Hitachi Energy’s Vaasa factory is the largest and most important transformer manufacturing plant in Finland and an important part of the country’s national electricity supply chain security. The factory develops and manufactures special purpose transformers to ensure, among other things, that the electricity generated by many of the world’s largest offshore wind farms is delivered safely to millions of homes around the globe.

During the Strömberg era, until 1987, the company manufactured transformers for domestic needs. In the 1980s, production then increasingly turned towards rapidly growing export markets in the Nordic countries, Germany, England and the Middle East as well as development projects in Africa.

Manufacturing in Vaasa started in 1947

Strömberg transformers were initially manufactured at the Helsinki factory, in Sörnäinen and Pitäjänmäki, from where production was subsequently transferred to Vaasa at the proposal of the defence authorities to ensure security of supply.

The manufacture of transformers in Vaasa started in 1947 and a separate factory for distribution transformers was set up in 1951. The factory for large transformers started operations in Vaasa in 1956. Today, the transformer business in Vaasa has an international responsibility for the development and manufacture of special purpose transformers in Hitachi Energy, which employs more than 40,000 people globally.

Time for internationalisation

Strömberg became part of Asea in 1986, before merging to form ABB two years later. For the transformer business, the 1990s was a period of very strong internationalisation for the company. As a result of the merger a global market opened up for Strömberg’s strong know-how and advanced products.  The global sales network and strong marketing expertise of Asea and ABB laid the foundation for global growth.

Today, Hitachi Energy’s transformer business in Finland is responsible for the design and manufacturing of the most specialised and complex transformers sold globally.

Key technologies for electrification and energy transition

CEO Matti Vaattovaara at Hitachi Energy offices in Vaasa
Matti Vaattovaara

Electrification plays a key role in the ongoing green energy transition process. To meet climate targets, the share of electricity in energy use will increase from the current 20% to 50% by 2050.

Matti Vaattovaara, CEO of Hitachi Energy Finland, comments:

“Electricity is the cornerstone of the future energy system and transformers have an important role to play in this essential development to mitigate climate change.”

The transformers delivered domestically and for export from the Vaasa factory have already ensured clean wind power for several million households around the world.

Today, Hitachi Energy is the world’s largest manufacturer of transformers. The Vaasa factory produces an average of one transformer per day, the largest weighing 250 tonnes. The plant employs more than 300 professionals in production, maintenance and clerical positions.

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