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Wärtsilä begins strategic review of energy storage business, considers divestment

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Power technology firm Wärtsilä has initiated a strategic review of its energy storage and optimisation (ES&O) business, with “all potential alternatives considered” including divestment.

In a stock exchange announcement today (31 October) the company said the review aims to “assess options that would accelerate the profitable growth of the ES&O business in a way that benefits its customers, employees, and the value creation for Wärtsilä shareholders”.

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The Finland-headquartered company said that all potential alternatives would be considered, including different ownership options from continued full ownership or a partial divestment. It added it was committed to developing and investing in the business during the review.

Its share price has jumped over 10% during this morning’s trading (compared to close yesterday), currently sitting at €11.08.

Through the division, Wärtsilä is one of the largest battery energy storage system (BESS) integrators in the world, consistently in the top five rankings from IHS Markit (and now S&P Global which acquired IHS) for deployed and pipeline of projects.

The ES&O division has been built off the acquisition of energy storage and energy management system (EMS) software pioneer Greenmmith Energy Management Systems (GEMS) in 2017, with Wärtsilä’s EMS for BESS still called the GEMS platform, alongside its GridSolv Quantum physical BESS product.

The company added that the division’s net sales on a 12-month basis by the end of Q3 2023 was €983 million (US$1.05 billion) and that it had turned to profitability in that period.

BESS integration is an activity with huge runway for long-term growth considering the fundamental drivers of the market but many companies providing BESS at scale are not yet profitable. That includes the largest system integrator globally Fluence, although it is moving towards positive margins.

“We have made solid progress in our Energy Storage and Optimisation business and the market continues to show remarkable growth. Thus, this is an opportune moment for us to assess future options and define the best way to support the growth of the business and create shareholder value,” said Håkan Agnevall, President and CEO of Wärtsilä.

The company has not set a timetable for the strategic review.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 9th annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 21-22 February 2024. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.

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