As a producer of super-heavy plate for the offshore wind energy sector, AktienGesellschaft der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger) is a major player in the energy transition. Wind farms are playing an essential role in the decarbonization of energy supply in Europe. For example, Germany is targeting a total offshore capacity of at least 30 gigawatts by 2030, with a further 40 GW to be added by 2045. For the expansion of these immense capacities at sea, global energy companies rely on quality steels and the reliable supplies from and through Dillinger. The plates are also used, for example, in France's first offshore wind farm, which is being built off the Atlantic coast.
The offshore wind farm in Saint-Nazaire, with a total capacity of 480 MW, will produce 20 percent of the electricity consumed in the Loire-Atlantique region. It is being built with steel from Dillinger. The heavy plate specialist supplied around 80,000 tons of steel for the construction of the monopiles for the 150 wind turbines. “More than 80 wind farms in Europe as well as in Japan, Asia and the United States have been built on foundations made of steel from Dillinger,” said Dillinger CEO and Chief Sales Officer Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler. “We produce the steels needed to ensure a successful energy transition.” Köhler added: “Dillinger has been continuously investing for two decades in the know-how of its employees and the equipment required to produce these highly advanced plates for the offshore wind sector. The high demand proves that customers in the energy sector trust Dillinger’s quality plate and comprehensive service.”
The demands placed on the plate used in offshore wind farms are high and are growing along with the increasing efficiency of the turbines. The heavy plate specialist is well equipped to meet these special customer requirements: The company has invested around 700 million euros in recent years in setting up production facilities for the segment. Since 2016 Dillinger has been able to supply slabs with the world's highest weight per meter in the 600mm format with its CC6 continuous caster – a line with an investment value of over EUR 400 million. The rolling mill at Dillinger is also designed to break records. With a width of 5.2 meters, it is the widest in Europe. The unique architecture of the rolling mill also enables high-performance thermomechanical rolling, which gives the steel specific material properties.
With the interests of its customers always in mind, Dillinger continues to invest in the competitive technological edge of its plants. Projects currently being implemented include the modernization of pusher furnace 2 in the rolling mill to increase capacity and investment in a new edge milling machine. Additional forward-looking investments for the offshore wind market are being planned and implemented. As a result, capacities for heavy plate for wind offshore foundations will be significantly expanded in coming years to enable the company to serve this growth market comprehensively. Steel plate forms the basis for offshore wind turbines. Alongside traditional foundations, demand for steel is also rising for offshore towers and, towards the end of the decade, for the rapidly growing area of floating wind turbines. Excellent quality requires the best employees, which is why personnel capacity in this area is also being further developed. Continuous investment in equipment and customer service secures Dillinger’s future and its competitive edge in expertise for the production of super-heavy special plate.
“The market for offshore wind energy offers positive prospects for growth,” Karl-Ulrich Köhler said. “We want to support our customers as a market leader with our highly advanced production processes, quality steels and versatile service system to further drive the expansion of green energy.”