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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 29, 2012
Business & Economy
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Steel Parts for Wind Farms
June 29, 2012   
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German-based multinational company Bilfinger Berger, Polish company Crist, and Poland’s government-run Industrial Development Agency (ARP) plan to invest 70 million euros to build a plant that will manufacture steel foundations for offshore wind farms.

Work to build the plant is scheduled to begin soon at the Gryfia repair shipyard in the northwestern city of Szczecin. It is one of the largest projects to be carried out by the ARP, a Polish government agency responsible for business restructuring and innovation.

Bilfinger Berger specializes in construction, engineering and services, while the Gdańsk-based Crist company builds vessels up to 100 meters long; it also designs and manufactures steel plates, superstructures and hulls.

“The plant will provide employment to around 400 people and is expected to process 80,000 metric tons of steel annually,” says ARP President Wojciech D±browski. “The product will be innovative because it will enable placing wind turbine foundations deeper in the sea than is the case now. The construction of the plant and its startup will cost around 70 million euros. The ARP will contribute 12.5 percent of the amount, or nearly 9 million euros. The rest is up to Bilfinger Berger and the Crist shipyard.”

Before the Szczecin plant reaches its full production capacity, foundations for offshore wind power plants will be manufactured in the Crist shipyard in Gdańsk. The investors expect that the market will need around 5,500 such foundations over the next 10 years. The ARP hopes the steel foundations will become one of Poland’s flagship exports as the shipbuilding industry regains its footing.

The ARP is increasingly involved in the energy sector. One area of its involvement is the production of wind power generation equipment. Another one will be the production of equipment for companies extracting shale gas.
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