Finland’s Wärtsilä is one of the companies driving a national three-year combustion engine technology research programme established by a consortium of Finnish technology companies and research institutes.

The principal aim of the Future Combustion Engine Power Plant (FCEP) programme is to develop reciprocating engine and related power plant technologies to ensure that Finnish industry can maintain its leading position in global markets, while meeting the requirements of tightening environmental legislation. The unique project also enables closer co-operation to create synergies between the research activities of the consortium members.

The two-year programme is to be led and co-ordinated by CLEEN Oy, the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation of Finland. The programme is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.

The key areas of research will include improvements in the combustion process, energy efficiency, emissions reduction methods, heat recovery systems and power conversion technologies. Fuel flexibility and the use of biofuels in combustion engines are also to be amongst the central areas of research.

Wärtsilä is one of the biggest contributors to the FCEP programme. Of the programme’s €38 million total cost, €10.2 million will be covered by the participating companies €5 million by the research institutes. The remainder will be funded by the government through Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation).