BASF and Vattenfall sign contract with Vestas for 15-megawatt offshore wind turbines

Reduced carbon footprint: parts of the wind turbine towers will be made of low-emission steel

BASF and Vattenfall use 15 MW Vestas turbine "V236" for their 1.6 GW offshore wind farm project Nordlicht in the German North Sea

Vattenfall and BASF have signed supply and service contracts with the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas for 112 "V236-15.0 MW" wind turbines. The state-of-the-art turbines will be used in the Nordlicht 1 and 2 offshore wind projects in the German North Sea off the island of Borkum, in which Vattenfall and BASF are jointly involved. They will be able to generate electricity for the equivalent of 1.6 million households from 2028. With a rated output of 15 megawatts, the "V236" is currently the most powerful wind turbine on the offshore market. Some of the tower elements are made of low-emission steel, which significantly reduces the towers' CO2 footprint.

Horatio Evers, Managing Director of BASF Renewable Energy GmbH, explains: “Renewable energies play a key role in our efforts to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions as soon as possible. This agreement is another important milestone in the Nordlicht 1 and 2 offshore wind projects and shows our clear commitment to the European wind power supply chain. Sustainability is an integral part of our strategy, and I am delighted that by using low-emission steel, we are also demonstrating that sustainable products are the future.”

Nils de Baar, President of Vestas Northern and Central Europe, says: “We are pleased to have signed this conditional contract to deliver our state-of-the-art offshore wind turbine for the Nordlicht project. Vattenfall, BASF and Vestas share the ambition to rapidly expand wind projects and to decarbonize the energy market in Europe, and Nordlicht will play a crucial role in delivering Germany’s energy transition targets. Vattenfall has a lot of experience in offshore wind projects, and we are looking forward to build this project together with our partners.”

Catrin Jung, Head of Offshore Wind at Vattenfall, comments: “Wind energy is an essential cornerstone on the path to fossil freedom, which moves society forward. With Vestas, we now have a partner for our Nordlicht projects at our side, with whom we share the same values in terms of sustainable energy solutions. The wind turbine supply and service contracts are an important milestone for us, and we look forward to continuing to work with Vestas as one of the leading wind turbine manufacturers.”

Tower elements made from low-emission steel significantly reduce CO2 footprint

The companies are also emphasising their ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions along the entire value chain. The upper tower elements of 56 of the 112 towers are made of so-called low-emission steel. This corresponds to 24 per cent of the mass of the heavy steel sheets used for the wind farm and reduces the towers' carbon footprint by 16 per cent. The low-emission steel is melted from 100 per cent scrap steel in an electric arc furnace that is powered 100 per cent by electricity from wind energy. This reduces CO2 emissions by 66 per cent compared to conventionally produced heavy steel sheets.

Background information on the Nordlicht wind farm area

The Nordlicht wind farm is located 85 kilometres north of the island of Borkum in the German North Sea and consists of two separate sites: Nordlicht 1 with a capacity of around 980 megawatts and Nordlicht 2 with around 630 megawatts. Once fully operational, the combined electricity production is expected to be around six terawatt hours per year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 1.6 million German households. Subject to the final investment decision, which is expected in 2025, construction of Nordlicht 1 and 2 is scheduled to begin in 2026. The wind turbines are currently scheduled to be erected in 2027 (Nordlicht 1) and 2028 (Nordlicht 2). Full commissioning of the wind farms is planned for 2028.

Partnership between Vattenfall and BASF

BASF has a 49 per cent stake in the Nordlicht 1 and 2 wind farm projects. The Nordlicht wind project is being built in the German North Sea without state subsidies and, with a total installed capacity of 1.6 gigawatts, is Vattenfall's largest offshore wind farm project to date. Vattenfall is developing and building the Nordlicht sites and intends to supply customers in Germany with fossil-free electricity from its share of future power generation. BASF will use almost half of the electricity to supply its chemical production sites in Europe, particularly in Ludwigshafen, Germany.