Wärtsilä maintenance agreement for the AMC hospital in Amsterdam

‘We simply make sure it works’

Since 7 June 2018, the former AMC has merged with the former VUmc.
Today the hospital uses the new "Amsterdam UMC, location AMC".

Having carried out maintenance on the thermoelectric power plant at the AMC for five years, the maintenance contract between Wärtsilä and the AMC has recently (just after the big power disruption around Amsterdam) been extended for another six years.

Many companies would call it their worst nightmare: power failure. But for a large hospital, it's possibly even worse than that; there are lives at stake, after all. That's why the AMC (Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Centre) decided thirty years ago to have their own thermoelectric power plant installed, with engines by Wärtsilä. The plant generates electricity in emergency situations, but for this hospital that's almost a side-issue; its primary function is the production of heat for heating and for the production of steam. The latter is vitally important for a hospital, where much equipment has to be cleaned and disinfected at high temperatures.

Some years ago, the plant was renewed, and three modern 12V 32DF engines, again by Wärtsilä, were installed. Eric Kloosterziel, General Manager of Agreement Sales at Wärtsilä: “When the renewed plant was taken delivery of in 2013, we signed a maintenance contract with the AMC for all service above and beyond the daily maintenance carried out by the AMC's own technicians. That contract was on an hourly basis and ended at the beginning of 2018; time to go and have a chat, at the end of 2017, about extending the contract.”

the Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC) in Amsterdam - photo: mmek.nl


The AMC wanted to continue the partnership with Wärtsilä. But in what form? And for how long? And under what conditions? Kloosterziel: “The AMC asked us if we could propose an appropriate solution. Obviously, in a situation like that, you could be pushy and try to sell the most extensive contract possible, but we did the opposite, held talks with the AMC to ascertain their exact needs and subsequently come up with a proposal of substance. Naturally, the AMC had checked to see if their own technicians could possibly do more. But the conclusion was: we can’t improve on what Wärtsilä does. Considering our long history together, that’s a real compliment.”

In the end, Wärtsilä submitted a proposal for a new contract for six years, with a fixed rate for hours worked. Including all travel costs for technicians and freight. And including a part of the unforeseen costs. Kloosterziel explains: “Our contract manager, Igor Pejic, is the single point of contact, the spider in the web between the AMC and Wärtsilä. He deals with everything that has to do with the contract. For example, we have constant condition monitoring on the installation, making it possible for Igor to spot potential future malfunctions and intervene promptly. This lets him keep a grip on any unplanned disruptions and costs. Igor also takes care of all logistics, planning and organisation tasks that have to do with the maintenance of the installations. That brings peace of mind to the client's organisation.”


The fixed costs per hour worked result in a more or less uniform annual costs. This is absolute added value for the client, because it means that the maintenance costs will be evenly spread over six years. That is of significant importance, particularly to a non-commercial company such as a hospital. Kloosterziel: “You might have years in which the costs are low, but then need a full maintenance service and that brings really high costs with it. That kind of fluctuation is undesirable for semi-governmental authorities. The construction we’ve now agreed combines a constant flow of costs with operating reliability.”

The latter was recently demonstrated, at the end of April, when the Amsterdam region was hit by a substantial power failure that caused even Schiphol Airport serious problems. But the power plant at the AMC did exactly what it was supposed to do: provide the hospital with emergency electricity and keep the most vital functions running.

Kloosterziel: “What we’re doing, in actual fact, is shouldering the hospital’s burden as far as the total maintenance and costs package is concerned, and making sure that it works. We call that ‘peace of mind’.


Wärtsilä 12V32DF engines are dual-fuel so they can run on both diesel and gas. However, the intention is that they use only gas, which is cleaner and more environmentally-friendly than diesel. But how should we be looking at gas engines in the context of the energy transition in which the Netherlands must gradually reduce the amount of gas it uses? That’s a fair question, and one the AMC is asking itself too. Reason enough for Wärtsilä to think ahead about other Smart Energy solutions for the long-term, such as battery storage and solar power.


Worldwide, the demand is increasing for renewable and self-generated energy that is reliable, sustainable and affordable. Providing energy like that is quite a challenge. The keyword here is Smart Energy: the intelligent linking of components from the energy supply chain in such a way that the basic power supply always remains, despite fluctuations in the mains voltage. Wärtsilä is at the forefront of these developments and is working on systems that are capable of absorbing peaks and troughs. This way we too are contributing to a sustainable society.

Meer weten? Neem contact op met Eric Kloosterziel, General Manager Agreement Sales via eric.kloosterziel@wartsila.com