Dillinger banks on future in wind parks

German plate maker Dillinger Hütte has reported record figures for the 2022 financial year, which it will use as a foundation for the alignment of the company’s future product portfolio.

While automotive, machinery and steel construction are in a downturn, the wind sector is experiencing a massive boom, Dillinger observes in its annual report. The company announces a clear strategy for profiting from expansion of wind energy with thick plate for construction of offshore wind farms.

Of the company’s total plate production of 1.84 million tonnes in 2022, more than 1mt were thick plate. This is the first time 1m t/year was surpassed in this segment, which the company defines with a thickness starting at 45mm, meaning too thick to be cut with shears. Offshore wind towers require thick plate in principle, and it is also widely used in boilers and mechanical engineering, chief executive Karl-Ulrich Köhler explained at the press conference of parent Stahl-Holding Saar (SHS) monitored by Kallanish.

Dillinger last year in fact lifted its output, from 1.78mt in 2021. High price levels helped the company boost revenue to €3.39 billion ($3.71 billion), up from €2.28 billion in 2021. Operating profit (Ebitda) rose from €201 million to €513m.

Commenting on the larger plate market, Köhler observed weaknesses in the segment of commodities and flame-cutting, “which on the whole does not affect us, as we are expanding in the higher-grade segment”.

He noted that last year’s intensifying Ukraine war also gave rise to demand for vehicle plating, for which Dillinger produces particularly thin but hard grades. “Compared with our overall output, the tonnages are very minor in that segment, though,” the ceo concluded.

Christian Koehl, Germany