A grip on all three German suppliers -- Weserwind's offshore business

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Weserwind Offshore Construction, part of the German Georgsmarienhütte steel group, is rapidly becoming a one-stop shop for both turbine foundations and transformer stations for all three of the country's budding players in the offshore wind sector: Repower Systems, Bard Engineering and French nuclear group Areva, supplier of the Multibrid turbine.

To serve the needs of the three companies, all of which expect to be supplying turbines to projects in German and French waters this year and next, Weserwind is constructing a purpose-built factory in Bremerhaven to build foundations from 2010. Weserwind already makes foundations at a facility close to the new factory and also operates factories in Wilhelmshaven and Rostock.

In Bremerhaven, the company will produce three types of foundation for all three offshore turbine competitors. Jackets will be made for Repower Systems, tripods for Multibrid offshore turbines and tri-piles for Bard Engineering. In total, Weserwind expects to make 80 foundations a year, using 80,000 tonnes of steel.

At Wilhelmshaven, the company is currently building 12 tri-pile foundations for Bard Engineering's Bard Offshore 1 station, an 80 turbine development. At the same location, Weserwind is assembling transformer stations for four projects: Bard Offshore 1; the 60 MW Alpha Ventus offshore test station, being built by a group of German utilities and to consist of Repower and Multibrid turbines; Energiekontor's near-shore 90 MW Nordergründe project in the Wester estuary, also to use Repower turbines and to start construction this year; and Baltic 1 off the north German coast, at 52.5 MW to be made up of 21 turbines.

Monopile orders

At Weserwind's third factory, at Rostock on the Baltic Sea coast, it is cooperating with Erndtebrücker Eisenwerke Special Pipe Construction (EEW-SPC) in the construction of monopile foundations with transition pieces to connect to a variety of turbine towers.

The company says it has orders for 39 monopiles for the Baltic 1 and Nordergründe stations and for 87 tripods to cover part of the needs of the 105 MW Côte d'Albâtre project, developed off the French coast by Germany's Enertrag and Prokon Nord. Areva is to supply the project with Multibrid turbines. Weserwind will also partially supply the German Borkum West 2 project developed by Prokon Nord. It is to consist of 80, 5 MW Multibrid turbines.

Weserwind managing director Dirk Kassen says the orders include EUR 60 million worth of firmly financed business, EUR 125 million of orders that are part of project financing deals and another EUR 200 million in joint deals with EEW-SPC.

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