Hitachi Energy delivers a strong message. The factory in Vaasa will be rebuilt – better and more efficient than before.
Hitachi Energy takes decisive action in Vaasa. The company management is determined to rebuild its transformer factory in Vaasa’s Strömberg Park, which was ravaged by a major industrial fire at the end of March.
“We will rebuild the factory,” says Bruno Melles, Managing Director of the Transformers Business Unit at Hitachi Energy.
Extent of damages still unknown
Demolition work is still ongoing in the factory area where the fire raged. Matti Vaattovaara, CEO of Hitachi Energy Finland, says that the area is still closed off, so the company has not yet been able to assess the full extent of the damage.
“Our first priority was and is to ensure the wellbeing of our employees,” says Matti Vaattovaara.
Although the fire was very intense, no one was injured. Matti Vaattovaara says that this suggests that fire safety in the area was managed well.
“Many thanks to both internal and external fire services, who do valuable work.”
Matti Vaattovaara says that the company is now focusing on restarting production in the short and medium term. This work is already underway. In fact, much of the production capacity has already been recovered.
“At the moment, about 75 percent of the staff is already back at work,” says Vaattovaara.
The energy cluster shows solidarity
Hitachi Energy is housed in several buildings, and production is active where possible. The company’s temporary lack of space will soon be alleviated thanks to the local energy cluster.
Hitachi Energy plans to move some production to Wärtsilä’s old production facilities in Onkilahti, a mere five kilometers from Strömberg Park. Wärtsilä is currently in the process of moving its operations to its new hub in Vaskiluoto.
“We are very grateful that both the city and Wärtsilä have been very accommodating,” says Matti Vaattovaara.
Plans to build a new factory
In the long run, Hitachi Energy plans to rebuild its own factory in Vaasa. Bruno Melles says that the operations in Vaasa are what the company likes to call a “lighthouse”.
Vaasa is a fundamental center of excellence for us. Many technologies created here have been distributed globally.
Both Vaattovaara and Melles are thus intent on rebuilding the lost factory in Vaasa. The details, such as the specific location, still have to wait until the company has resolved its short and medium term production challenges.
Bruno Melles says that two things are already clear regarding the new factory; it will be better and more efficient than the previous one.
State-of-the-art digitalisation technology will have a key role. The factory layout will also be optimised to increase overall productivity and efficiency.