ArcelorMittal closes sheet metal supply deal for Wikinger


It was taken for granted since 19 January, but yesterday it was officially announced: ArcelorMittal will supply the 23,000 tonnes of thick sheet metal needed by the joint venture formed by Windar renovables (Daniel Alonso Group) and the public company Navantia to undertake one of the projects awarded by Iberdrola, for 90 million euros, for its wind farm in the Baltic Sea. The project involves the construction of 29 anchoring structures (jackets in the jargon of the offshore wind energy world) for the future Wikinger wind farm that the Spanish multinational will build in the German waters of the Baltic Sea.

The Daniel Alonso Group and Navantia-Ferrol joined forces to bid for this tender – and for another eight others that are pending award – and for the time being they will take on this first order. At the time, it was already stated that the first candidate to supply the heavy plate would be ArcelorMittal, although the most important issue was still pending: the price per tonne. Once again, the steel multinational and the group led by the businessman from Avilés, Daniel Alonso, have reached an agreement and it will be the Gijón heavy plate mill, the only one in the Iberian Peninsula, which will supply the 23,000 tonnes of this order. The supply is scheduled to start next March and will last for a year, until March 2016.

In this way, the alliance between ArcelorMittal and the Daniel Alonso Group continues to grow stronger, following the latter’s commitment to the Gijón facility of the steel multinational, which led it to set up the facilities that it has open next to the same thick plate train, in Somonte.

Despite the fact that the competition of sheet metal from other countries, mainly China and the former Soviet-influenced countries, competed for a long time on prices, the group from Avilés maintained its commitment to Arcelor from the very beginning and this has meant that the two companies have kept open new possibilities of collaboration in the future. The latest proof of this is this new order, aimed at the fast-growing offshore wind energy sector

ArcelorMittal has the only Spanish heavy plate mill at its Gijón facilities, which gives it an undoubted advantage in the peninsular market, providing it with extensive experience in the supply of this type of material for wind turbines such as those that will now be used in the Baltic Sea.

According to the world’s leading steel company, “the development of new steels and the use of new cutting-edge technologies applied to steelmaking” has enabled it to expand its range of steel products to access new markets and diversify its production. In this sense, the supply of sheet metal for the construction of offshore wind turbines “is a further step in this direction”, says the company, which considers that these steels, in addition to having the mechanical properties necessary to support the wind turbine structure, must be especially resistant to corrosion in a very aggressive environment.

The Daniel Alonso Group (Windar renovables) and Navantia Ferrol joined forces in a joint venture precisely to be able to bid for tenders on the scale of the one proposed by Iberdrola for its Wikinger project. The former brings its experience and know-how and the latter its financial capacity.