The engineering and services group Bilfinger, along with Polish steel construction company Crist and the state-owned investment fund MARS, will together produce steel foundations for offshore wind turbines in Szczecin, Poland.
At a celebratory ground-breaking, Poland’s Finance Minister Włodzimierz Karpiński and Member of the Executive Board at Bilfinger Joachim Enenkel signaled the start of construction for a new production facility in this port city on the Baltic Sea. Funding for the project will also come from the European Union.
“With our expertise, we are making a substantial contribution to the greater use of renewable energy in Europe. Bilfinger has already been involved in the installation of more than 500 offshore foundations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea”, explains Joachim Enenkel. Once the facility in Szczecin goes into operation in 2015, more than 100,000 tons of steel will be processed and foundations for 80 wind turbines produced each year. “We are thus not only in a position to install steel foundations on the open seas, but can now also produce them ourselves in advance”, emphasizes Joachim Enenkel.
Germany is just one of a number of countries that are driving the expansion of offshore wind power forward. Bilfinger anticipates continued strong demand primarily in the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries. By 2020, offshore wind parks with a total output of 20 gigawatts are expected to be built in countries neighboring the North Sea and Baltic Sea. These wind parks will require more than 3,000 foundations. The new production facility for steel foundations puts Bilfinger in a strong competitive position.
Press release, December 5, 2013; Image: flickr