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German steel-plate maker Dillinger supplies UK offshore project


99,000 mt of plate supplied

Plate prices still lagging

New York — German platemaker Dillinger supplied 99,000 mt of heavy plates to the UK Hornsea One offshore wind farm, the company said Oct. 20.

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The plate supplied by Dillinger is used for the monopile foundation structures of the wind turbines and have thicknesses ranging from 30 to 90 millimeters.

The wind farm is 120 km (74 miles) off the east coast of England and will have a capacity of more than 1.2 GW. Hornsea One will contain a total of 174 7-MW wind turbines and covers an area of 407 square km (157 square miles). The project is led by Orsted A/S, a Danish multinational power company.

"Steel is indispensable for the sustainable production of renewable energy," Dillinger CEO Tim Hartmann said. "Without steel, there is no green energy."

Hartmann also called on politicians to set out a framework for steel production during the energy transition.

"This includes reliable policy conditions such as a fair framework for foreign trade, support for the transformation to carbon-free steel production, and enough green energy at competitive prices."

Earlier in October, the UK government announced it planned to have 40 GW of offshore wind power by 2030. Most of the steel used in offshore wind projects, except for some material for the foundations, comes from outside UK, according to trade body UK Steel, which is likely to benefit European plate producers. The increased ambition could require over 5 million mt of steel.

The potential orders generating from the plan would be a welcome change from the current investment deadlock of project business for the European plate industry that is suffering from economic uncertainty in the energy and gas sector.

European plate prices are still trailing behind other flat steel products, having risen only slowly by around Eur30/mt since the lowest point in June to Eur498/mt ex-works Ruhr (S235 grade) on Oct. 20, according to the weekly S&P Global Platts assessment.