Dillinger Hütte investing in offshore wind
22 September 2011
Dillinger Hütte is investing 135 million € in a supplier plant for offshore wind power plants. A plant that will manufacture offshore monopile foundations from thick-walled structural tubulars will be built for the future Steelwind Nordenham company.
In its meeting today, the Dillinger Hütte Supervisory Board approved the investment for construction of a monopile plant in Nordenham (Lower Saxony). The monopile plant will be built directly on the North Sea. The location is ideal in terms of logistics, both for supplying the plant with plate from Dillinger Hütte and its subsidiary, GTS Industries (Dunkirk), as well as for delivering the finished monopiles, which can feature diameters of up to 7 meters, lengths of up to 100 meters, and can weigh up to 1,000 tons. After reaching full capacity in 2017, the plant will be able to produce 100 monopiles per year. The plant will feature its own wharf facilities, large storage areas and railway and truck connections.
With this, Dillinger Hütte will no longer merely supply the input material – heavy plate – but instead will become a full-service provider of monopiles for construction of offshore wind power plants. A total of around €135 million will be invested in construction of the plant, which is expected to begin operating in 2014 and will employ more than 300 people.
With the plant, Dillinger Hütte is responding to expectations for extremely high demand in the wind power plant market and to inadequate capacity among today’s suppliers. Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, Chief Executive Officer of Dillinger Hütte and member of the Board of Management, reaffirmed the company’s strategic objectives. “This investment fits with our strategy. With it, we want to expand our processing depth without competing with our customers, which would be possible given the enormous demand,” Blessing said. “At the same time this strategic forward integration secures the jobs in both our Dillingen and Dunkirk plants, since we will be supplying the high-quality plate grades ourselves.”
In addition, Dillinger Hütte is investing a sum of around €9 million in the construction of a second state-of-the-art plate edge-milling machine in its heavy fabrication division at the Dillingen location. This system allows plate to be precisely dimensioned; this can then be offered as a service that saves customers from having to perform this procedure themselves. These plates are primarily used for heavy plate with greater thicknesses, such as that used for pressure vessels and for offshore monopiles.
Both the plate edge-milling machine and the investment in construction of the new CC6 continuous casting line, which was approved in May, will ensure that sufficient supplies of plate can be offered in the technically demanding grades and large dimensions that both customers and Steelwind Nordenham will require in the future.