Bladt Industries are securing a foundation for other activities, and the experts in steel constructions are clearly aware of on what to base their future.
CEO Jan Kjærsgaard from Bladt Industries has no doubt at all when asked to consider from where growth may derive in the years to come. The answer is clear and well-founded when the engineering company is looking at what filled the order book last year and what will fill the pages of the book for the rest of this year.
”Growth will take place in offshore windpower, even if it will not look like a rocket exploding upwards. We expect the market to stay at a reasonable level, and we shall bear in mind that even if more magawatts are produced it may not necessarily mean that we shall produce more foundations. Wind turbines grow bigger, and the foundations follow suit, so simple calculation indicates that less foundations will be required when three megawatts turbines are replaced by the new seven megawatts turbines,” states Jan Kjærsgaard who is sharply focusing on this business area.
”Offshore wind is the basis for our activities, and we hope that last year will turn out to have been a bit better than 2015. We have got some attractive orders like for instance 96 transition pieces and three sub-stations for DONG'a Hornsea project. But we are not jumping up and down with happiness for that reason, because oil and gas is a bít too quiet, and we expect no change this year. However, it is still an area, where we want to be as active as before. At the same time we are strategically counting on infrastructure – an area which has developed in a positive way.
A double challenge
However, not all is bliss and happiness when talking wind energy. A growing market caught the interest of other companies, and Blatt Industries can feel a growing competition from actors who till now have not even been sniffing at this business area.
”When the oil prices are as low as we have seen, we are meeting a double challenge. Some of the steel constructors, who traditionally have taken interest only in oil and gas, have started turning their spotlight to offshore wind power. That means pressure on the price of the structures and consequently, reducing the cost of energy is a subject we are fighting for all the time. We expect, too, that the price of electricity will drop even further at the future auctions because the consumers and the competition are increasing the pressure, so all the time we are optimizing our production. That means for instance investing in a new robot welding plant which we are going to implement in the production of some of our jackets,” explaines Jan Kjærsgaard, who still expects a steadily increasing of the market even if the prices will probably decrease. His ambitions are clear when talking about the perspective of the future.
”We shall still be one of the market leaders when talking foundations and sub-stations for offshore wind power, but at the same time we will develop our department for infrastructure. It is not directly related to offshore, but we are in a position where we have to look at our global supply chain. More time-intensive jobs must go to sub-contractors if we are to stay competitive, and we go for moderate growth so that we shall still make a profit,” states Jan Kjærsgaard, who is clearly aware of the need for looking at the production phase in new ways.
”Our jacket projects have shown us that the designs are incredibly different. There is little standardization, so we look at a way in which we can contribute to standardize the production. The price has to be cut considerably, and we see lots of potentials like for instanse simplifying the top section. That is why we have attempted to gather the members of our branch in a Cost of Energy Task Force. There are, for instance, some of the methods we learnt from offshore wind power which could be tranferred to oil & gas, but we want to establish a group of broader disciplins in order to have more companies promoting the idea,” explains Jan Kjærsgaard who is in control of the present foundation but all the time trying to develop it for Bladt Industries to be ready for the future.
Bladt Industries is an international construction company specializing in large and complex steel constructions. The company operates in three business areas – wind and sustainable energy, oil & gas and infrastructure.
Constantly focusing on efficiency, delivery time and quality the company produces a broad range of steel constructions – including turnkey solutions for on- as well as offshore projects. Its competences embrace foundations and transformer stations for offshore windfarms, suction anchors, topsides and jackets to oil and gas projects as well as buildings, bridges and harbour sections for infrastructure projects.