PAO Severstal, one of the worlds’s leading vertically integrated steel and steel-related mining companies, RUSNANO MC and Windar Renovables S.L. have opened the production steel towers for wind-driven power plants. A solemn opening ceremony of the LLC WRS Towers, a joint venture of Severstal, Windar Renovables S.L. and RUSNANO for the production of wind turbine towers took place in Taganrog of Rostov region.
The heads of the joint venture participants and representatives of federal and regional authorities - Alexander Shevelev, CEO of Severstal; Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO MC; Orlando Alonso, Chairman of the Board of Windar Renovables S.L.; Justo Acedo, CEO of Windar Renovables s.l.; David Rowen, Vice President of Vestas; Petr Spiridonov, CEO of LLC WRS; Vasily Golubev, the Governor of the Rostov region and Vasiliy Osmakov, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade attended the event.
The WRS Towers plant was built as a part of a government programme to develop the generation of renewable energy sources, providing the localization of RES equipment and creation of a new sector of high-technology power-plant engineering. The joint venture will be the Russia’s first plant for the production of wind turbine towers.
The total volume of investment in the first stage of the project will amount to 750 million roubles. Windar Renovables has a 51% share in the joint venture, while RUSNANO and Severstal each have a 24.5% share. The Spanish company Windar Renovables has introduced the technology of manufacturing wind turbine towers to Russia. Severstal is able to supply the steel plates required for the production of the towers on competitive terms.
The designed generation capacity of the venture is up to 300MW a year and it will achieve this level within two years from the launch of manufacturing. In the first stage the joint venture’s main customer will be the Wind Energy Development Fund (created by RUSNANO and PAO FORTUM, on a parity basis) and its portfolio company OOO Vetroparky FRV, which was the winner of the tender for RES projects with a total installed capacity of 1.8 GW. Vestas, the supplier of wind turbines, was selected as a global technological partner, to act as the main supplier of equipment to the Fund. One of the main conditions for the selection of the supplier was the existence of a programme for localizing the manufacture of equipment in Russia.
Windar Renovables is Vestas’ global OEM partner.
The steel wind turbine tower is a hollow structure made up of a set of conical–cylindrical sections, at the top of which is a gondola and the wind turbine rotor: its function is to support the rotor mechanism in the wind current. The height of the tower may reach 120 meters, and it may weigh up to 270 tonnes. When wind turbines enter operation, as a part of the supply agreements programme, the tower capacity provides 13% of the RES localization of the rated level of 65%.
Alexander Shevelev, CEO of Severstal: “In today’s world, entering new markets of complex high-technology products very often requires joining the competencies of several partners. The result of such cooperation of three leaders in their markets Severstal, Rusnano and Windar Renovables, was the opening of the Russia’s first production of wind turbine towers. The participation in this project is fully in line with our updated marketing strategy, which is focused on closer cooperation with clients for providing them with individual solutions.
Our goal is to make Severstal the leader in the future steel industry. And the future belongs to those companies that can provide clients with unique solutions based on a better understanding of their needs. In the framework of this partnership, we will supply the enterprise with a product designed specifically for our partners - steel plates required for the production of towers. We are happy that Severstal contributes to the development of such a promising area as the wind-electric energy generation in our country.”
The Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO MC Anatoly Chubais: “The launch of the Russia’s first plant for the production of steel towers - one of the key components of the wind turbine - is a historical event for the Russian power and mechanical engineering. This gives us confidence that Russia will maintain the global energy power status for the next generations as well.
Our project of wind equipment localization proves that a high-technology cluster has been established in the country, including the generation of renewable energy, power-plant engineering, science and education. I shall note that the launch of this production plant would be impossible without uniting efforts of a technological investor, a high-technology player in the steel industry, as well as the thought-out measures of the Government of the Russian Federation to support the industry.”
CEO of Windar Renovables s.l. Justo Acedo: “We have confidence in the future of wind energy and its development in Russia. The new factory will increase Rostov region’s production capacity, using new technologies and know-how imported all over the world.”
Vasily Golubev, Governor of the Rostov Region: “The launch of steel tower production for wind-driven power plants marks the birth of a new industry for the Rostov region. Earlier this year we announced our interest in developing wind power utilisation extensively across the Don region, and several companies have already started to install wind [turbines].
Since 2017, a total of 85 billion roubles has been invested in 3 major wind power projects in the Rostov region. The creation of a production base is an important step in the development of a renewable energy industry in the region.”