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Features 29-02-2024

4 min read

Hitachi Energy Transformers celebrates 110 years in Finland

This year marks a significant milestone for Hitachi Energy in Finland as it celebrates 110 years since the beginning of industrial transformers production in the country. Over the years, the Vaasa factory has become Finland’s largest and most important transformer manufacturing plant, contributing significantly to national energy security. Today, the factory develops and manufactures transformers that ensure electricity flows to millions of homes worldwide.

110 years

of industrial transformers manufacturing in Finland

250 tons

of weight of the largest transformers produced in Vaasa, Finland

300+ experts

of transformer technology design, production and services are employed in Vaasa, Finland

Transformers industrial manufacturing began in Finland in 1914 with the production of small distribution transformers. However, after World War I, production gradually shifted to larger transformers that could handle electricity at higher voltages. Carrying the name of Strömberg, transformers were initially manufactured in Helsinki, Finland’s capital city. In 1947, production was transferred to Vaasa, the heart of Finland’s western coast, at the request of the defense authorities, for supply security reasons.

This strategic relocation was a significant turning point, enabling growth together with the accelerating electrification of the society. 

Until the 80s, Hitachi Energy produced all types of transformers , from the smallest distribution transformers to the largest 1000 MVA power transformers, mainly for domestic needs while gradually venturing into key export markets across the Nordics, Germany, England, and the Middle East, in addition to some select African development projects. As Finland’s electricity consumption rose, transformers became crucial components of the evolving energy landscape. 

Collaboration with Finland’s technically advanced and energy intensive industrial sector and pioneering customers drove advancements in transformer technology, fueling rapid growth and market presence. With specialized facilities established over the years, Vaasa’s transformer business became central to the company’s global footprint. 

Industrial transformers manufacturing began in Finland in 1914

“As we celebrate 110 years of transformer manufacturing in Finland, our journey at Hitachi Energy’s Vaasa factory is not just about milestones; it’s a testament to our dedication to innovation, sustainability, and enabling the energy transition,” says Toni Koskinen, Vaasa Factory Manager at Hitachi Energy. “From our humble beginnings to our global impact today, every transformer we produce carries the legacy of our commitment to excellence and the promise of a brighter, cleaner energy future for generations to come.”

Every transformer we produce carries the legacy of our commitment to excellence, and the promise of a brighter, cleaner energy future generations to come.

Toni Koskinen
Vaasa Factory Manager at Hitachi Energy

Global expansion and innovation

In 1986, ASEA acquired Strömberg, and two years later, ABB was formed. The 1990s witnessed significant international expansion; increased efficiency, and the adoption of world-leading technologies. Continuous innovation, research, development, and highly advanced transformer designs led to groundbreaking innovations such as Common Technology (CT) for distribution transformers and the TrafoStar™ platform for larger transformers, setting industry benchmarks and driving global efficiency standards. 

These technological innovations contributed to the entire industry and still serve as the backbone of Hitachi Energy’s transformer business today. The 2000s saw a major reorganization of the company to consolidate production and enhance efficiency. As a consequence, Vaasa became dedicated to special transformers, leveraging its expertise in engineering to meet diverse market needs while improving safety, reliability, and sustainability. 

Today, Hitachi Energy’s Vaasa factory stands at the forefront of the clean energy transition, developing specialized transformers such as as WindSTAR transformers and subsea transformers, underlining the company’s commitment to innovation and excellence. 

Hitachi Energy is a global leader in transformer technology design, innovation and excellence
More than half of the wind power in Finland flows through Hitachi Energy's transformers
Transformers are the key technology in enabling future's clean energy systems
Vaasa factory has world-leading expertise in specialized transformers such as WindSTAR and subsea transformers

Key technology to enable electrification and energy transition

Hitachi Energy’s transformers from Vaasa power millions of households worldwide – contributing to major offshore wind farms across Europe in addition to utilities, industries, transportation and data centers. 

From Scotland’s Moray East to Portugal’s Windfloat Atlantic, Vaasa’s transformers ensure the efficient, reliable, and safe transmission of clean energy, shaping the future of global energy solutions. In Finland alone, more than 50 percent of the wind power produced flows through transformers and substations supplied by Hitachi Energy.

As Hitachi Energy commemorates 110 years of innovation and excellence in Finland, its legacy as a pioneering manufacturer of transformers continues as the company works to advance a sustainable energy future for all. "Electricity is the backbone of the future energy system, and transformers have a key role to play in this development, which is essential to mitigate climate change. Transformers were needed when Finland was electrified after the World Wars, and they are needed now as we build ever more sustainable energy systems,” says Matti Vaattovaara, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy Finland. “The transformer factory in Finland is integral for Finland's energy security and also supports our national targets to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035."

Transformers were needed when Finland was electrified after the World Wars, and they are needed now as we build ever more sustainable energy systems.

Matti Vaattovaara
Managing Director of Hitachi Energy Finland

With a strong commitment to innovation, collaboration, and sustainability, Hitachi Energy’s transformers and its people will be pivotal in powering the world’s transition toward clean, efficient, and reliable energy systems. 

People at work today at Hitachi Energy Vaasa factory