Rolls-Royce has completed a multi-million Euro upgrade and refurbishment of its thruster manufacturing plant in Rauma, Finland, consolidating production over a single site, and creating one of the world’s most advanced propulsion facilities.
The decision to upgrade the facility was announced in the summer of 2016 and the refurbished site was officially opened on 22 January 2019, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr Mika Lintilä.
Mikael Mäkinen, Rolls-Royce, President – Marine, said: “Our azimuth thrusters are one of our most important products, providing mission critical power and propulsion for some of the largest floating objects on the planet. The conclusion to this significant investment in Rauma prepares us for future growth in this market, while enabling us to produce our existing range of thrusters and develop new products more efficiently.”
The €57million investment to upgrade the Rolls-Royce Rauma facility, located in the local Seaside Industry Park, included the complete rebuilding of the site’s existing production hall, along with the building of a new, 35metre high hall with 40t, 80t and 200t lift capacities for the manufacturing and testing of thruster units in all size ranges.
Mikael Mäkinen added: “By consolidating and optimising our thruster production processes we are in a better position to facilitate the markets we serve, particularly the offshore sector which we see beginning to emerge from its downturn.”
A renewed welding hall, six factory acceptance test (FAT) rigs, an integrated logistics centre and a main office complex also formed part of the extensive work scope.
Ulla Ylisäe, Rolls-Royce, Programme Manager, Rauma, said: “What we have created is a modern, state-of-the art thruster manufacturing hub that increases operational capacity, optimises production flow lines and delivers on our commitment to meeting our customers’ future requirements. We have now closed the book on the project, which we were able to complete on budget and as scheduled.”
The new facility streamlines production and the simultaneous testing of a wide range of mechanical thrusters, including the US and UUC type azimuthing thrusters and newly launched Elegance pods.
Rolls-Royce Rauma produces a wide range of mechanical azimuth thrusters for use on a wide range of applications including semi-submersible drilling rigs and drillships, tugs and offshore vessels. Rauma also produces thrusters for specialist vessels such as icebreakers and polar research ships.
Since the first azimuth thruster was developed from Rauma more than 50 years ago, Rolls-Royce thrusters have become the standard choice for customers demanding high levels of reliability, power and performance often in extremely challenging environments.