04. July 2012
With today’s symbolic groundbreaking ceremony, the Steelwind Nordenham (DH Nordenham Projekt GmbH), a wholly owned subsidiary of AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke, officially launched construction of the plant that will manufacture monopiles for offshore wind farms in Nordenham, Lower Saxony.
The ceremony, during which a pipe was driven into the ground in an allusion to the foundation work for offshore towers, was attended by Lower Saxony’s Minister President David McAllister, Mayor Hans Francksen of the city of Nordenham, and the Board of Management of the parent company, Aktien-Gesellschaft der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger Hütte). “The development of offshore wind power will play a critical role in implementing the energy revolution. With the decision to build this plant in Nordenham we are responding to expectations for high demand in this area,” said Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, Chief Executive Officer of Dillinger Hütte, during his speech at the ceremony. At the same time Blessing praised the good cooperation with the city of Nordenham: “We have felt very well received from the start with our plans to establish a supplier plant for offshore wind power plants.” The city of Nordenham in Lower Saxony, located directly on the North Sea, offers ideal logistical conditions for this – both with respect to supplying the plant with plate from Dillinger Hütte and the subsidiary GTS Industries in Dunkirk, France, and to delivering the finished foundation structures by water.
Lower Saxony’s Minister President David McAllister said: “Today’s groundbreaking is an important contribution to a successful future for offshore wind power and a special day for Nordenham. In the future, a long-established steel company from Saarland will produce foundation elements in Blexen for wind farms in the North Sea. This very clearly demonstrates one thing: Lower Saxony is profiting from the energy revolution in particular because our harbors provide important locational advantages for the growing offshore industry.”
A total of around €135 million is being invested in construction of the plant at Blexer Groden, which is expected to begin operating in 2014 and will employ more than 300 people. After achieving full capacity in 2017, Steelwind Nordenham should produce 100 monopiles per year. These foundation structures for offshore wind power plants, made from thick-walled structural tubulars, feature diameters of up to 10 meters and lengths of up to 100 meters, and can weigh up to 1,500 tons. Dillinger Hütte and its subsidiary GTS Industries will supply the high-grade plate in the required dimensions.
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