Bilfinger to Make Offshore Wind Foundations With Polish Partners

Bilfinger Berger SE (GBF), a German builder, started a 50 million-euro ($66 million) joint venture with two Polish companies to make foundations for offshore wind turbines as demand in the North and Baltic seas grows.

Bilfinger Berger will make steel support structures for 80 turbines a year from 2014 at the Gryfia production site in the Polish port of Szczecin, the Mannheim-based company said today in a statement. It will work with Crist SA, a Gdansk-based steel construction company, and MARS, a state-owned investment fund.

Europe’s northern coastal nations are adding wind farms to meet energy demand without boosting emissions. Poland could host as much as 10,000 megawatts in the Baltic Sea, the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society said in February. Germany, phasing out nuclear in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, is targeting the same amount by 2020 in the German North Sea and the Baltic, while Denmark aims to get half its power from wind by that time.

The number of turbines installed annually in those regions must increase “significantly” for nations to reach climate protection goals, Bilfinger Berger said in the statement.

The Gryfia facility will employ more than 400 people and process 80,000 metric tons of steel a year, according to the statement. Bilfinger Berger owns a 62.5 percent share in the venture, Crist has 25 percent and MARS the remainder.

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