Vestas and ArcelorMittal Forge Alliance to Propel Low-Emission Steel for Wind Turbines

By Editor


Vestas, a wind turbine manufacturer, has entered into a partnership with ArcelorMittal to introduce a low-emission steel offering aimed at substantially reducing the lifetime carbon dioxide emissions associated with the production of wind turbine towers.

The low-emission steel is manufactured using 100 percent steel scrap, which undergoes melting in an electric arc furnace exclusively powered by 100 percent wind energy at ArcelorMittal’s steel mill, Industeel Charleroi, located in Belgium.

Following this process, the steel slabs are transformed into heavy plates, essential for crafting wind turbine towers, at ArcelorMittal’s heavy plate mill in Gijon, Spain. These heavy plates, constructed with low-emission steel, are initially suitable for the entire range of onshore wind turbine towers and the upper sections of offshore wind turbine towers.

The low-emission heavy plate steel comes with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), independently certified, offering a comprehensive insight into the product’s environmental footprint. This certification facilitates easier product comparisons in terms of sustainability.

The adoption of low-emission steel in the upper two sections of offshore wind towers is projected to result in approximately a 25 percent reduction in emissions compared to towers produced using conventional steelmaking methods. For an entire onshore tower, the reduction in CO2 emissions is estimated to be at least 52 percent.

Given that steel and iron constitute a substantial portion (80-90 percent) of a wind turbine’s material mass, and around 50 percent of its total lifecycle emissions, the collaboration between Vestas and ArcelorMittal represents a crucial step in reducing CO2 emissions across the wind energy supply chain. This partnership is anticipated to achieve a remarkable 66 percent decrease in emission intensity per kilogram of steel compared to conventional steel production routes.

While low-emission steel is not yet a standard offering from Vestas, the first project set to utilize this eco-friendly material is the Baltic Power Offshore Wind Project, situated off the coast of Poland. Vestas will commence the construction of this offshore wind farm in 2025, with an expected capacity of up to 1.2 GW, ultimately providing clean electricity to over 1.5 million households in Poland. Vestas will be responsible for supplying, installing, and commissioning 76 V236-15.0 MW wind turbines for the Baltic Power Offshore Wind Project, with the top section of 52 towers crafted from low-emission steel.

Dieter Dehoorne, Head of Global Procurement at Vestas, highlighted the significance of this collaboration, stating, “Vestas sees the partnership with ArcelorMittal and the adoption of low-emission steel as a significant lever in reducing CO2 emissions within the wind industry.”

Laurent Plasman, CMO Industry, ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, emphasized the feasibility of using low carbon-emission steel in renewable energy infrastructure today and thanked Vestas and Baltic Power for their vision in employing recycled and renewably produced steel in the offshore wind project.

Jarosław Broda, CEO of Baltic Power, expressed pride in pioneering a sustainable future in the renewable energy sector, making Baltic Power the first offshore wind farm globally to utilize low-emission steel.

Broda affirmed the project’s commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship, setting new benchmarks in transforming Poland’s energy landscape. The Baltic Power Offshore Wind Project is expected to be completed by 2026, marking a significant milestone in the journey towards a greener future.

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