TÜV NORD supporting complex construction of wind turbines in Salzgitter

13 January 2022 | Industrial Services: Project shows how windturbines can be constructed in steel plants and other production facilities.

Hanover, Germany: Various industrial sectors are seeking to use green hydrogen to make their production largely CO2-free. TÜV NORD has lent its support to the construction of seven wind turbines in Salzgitter. These should generate a total of 30 megawatts of electricity to allow the Salzgitter steel maker to produce the green hydrogen it currently needs on its own premises. The construction is a blueprint for how this kind of complex construction can also succeed in companies whose use of dangerous substances renders them subject to the German Hazardous Incident Ordinance.

“Putting up turbines in a company dealing with hazardous substances is completely different from building them on green fields,” explains Hardin Gerlach, project manager at TÜV NORD Systems. Erecting the turbines, which measure just short of 170 metres in height, in and around Salzgitter AG’s plants is a particular challenge for two reasons. On the one hand, because hazardous substances are used in the steelworks, the strictest safety requirements apply. Falling ice or the loss of one of the rotor blades could damage the blast furnace and its gas pipelines – with devastating consequences. The blades are 67 metres long and weigh 15 tons.

On the other, mining and nuclear safety aspects must be taken into account at the site due to the proximity of “Schacht Konrad”, a former iron ore mine, which is being converted into a repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive substances. “We were, however, able to rule out the possibility of hazardous impacts from the construction and operation of the wind turbines which would have implications in terms of mining law and radiation protection,” Gerlach explains.

TÜV NORD experts were involved at all the stages, from the systematic hazard analysis through to the coordination of site assessments and commissioning. They were also able to contribute their expertise in the mining, radiation and fire protection fields and in the commissioning of the wind turbines.

 The joint project of Salzgitter AG, Avacon and Linde entitled Wind-Hydrogen Salzgitter (“WindH2”) is an important element of the SALCOS (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) project and aims to reduce CO2 emissions at the Salzgitter site by 95 percent by 2050.


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