After more than a decade within the offshore wind business and after several successfully completed joint offshore wind projects, the German steel fabricator EEW Special Pipe Constructions GmbH and the Danish steel construction company Bladt Industries A/S have decided to further strengthen their presence in the UK. The companies have taken an important step to jointly make significant investments to establish a new joint company based by the River Tees in the UK to manufacture offshore steel structures. This marks an important milestone of the offshore wind industry where experienced European based manufacturers invest in developing the UK offshore wind industry.
The new joint company, Offshore Structures (Britain) Limited, will become a key part of the European manufacturing base of EEW SPC and Bladt Industries. It will be situated at the site of the former TAG Energy Solutions. Bladt Industries and EEW SPC will acquire the assets of Tees Alliance Group Corporate (TAG) which enables a rapid ramp up for the new company as a significant part of the facilities is already in place.
Offshore Structures (Britain) will have at its disposal 17 ha (42 acre) of land, more than 13,000 square meters of steel manufacturing facilities under roof and 2,000 square meters of blasting and painting facilities. The facilities are particularly well suited for the production of large tubular offshore wind foundations, most notably transition pieces for monopile foundations.
The advantages of a local UK manufacturing site coupled with the significant offshore wind foundation experience of Bladt Industries and EEW SPC will secure Offshore Structures (Britain) a strong position in the future UK offshore wind market.
“Bladt Industries will contribute our significant offshore wind experience gathered over the course of more than 10 years in the industry and through our track record of more than 1,300 offshore foundations and 14 offshore wind substations. By taking this step, we bring this unique experience to bear in the UK and we are creating a strong platform for our continued growth in the UK market,” says Jan Kjærsgaard, CEO of Bladt Industries.
“Since our inception in 2008, EEW SPC has become one of the world leading companies in the field of fabrication of monopiles and transition pieces for offshore wind foundations.
We have executed and supported more than 25 key offshore wind projects in Europe and the US.
We will contribute our outstanding experience of serial production for large pipes and tubulars to the new UK entity, Offshore Structure (Britain) Limited. We see this as a step to further growth of our business in one of the most important markets in Europe,” says Karl Kloes-Hein, Managing Director of EEW SPC.
The entry of Offshore Structures (Britain) Limited in the UK will create a substantial number of jobs both directly at the facility as well as throughout the supply chain. The number of direct jobs is initially planned for approximately 100 with a planned growth to approximately 350. The speed of growth will depend on the development of the offshore wind market in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe. The number of local indirect jobs created is expected to exceed the direct job numbers. Bladt Industries and EEW SPC expect to invest up to a potential 25 – 30 million GBP for the acquisition, development and upgrade of the facilities to become a state of the art manufacturing base for foundations for the offshore wind industry. The size and timing of the investment will depend primarily on the growth of the UK offshore wind market.
The investment into the UK by EEW SPC and Bladt Industries was announced by UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, at an event in Wales on Friday 21 November 2014.