German minister pays Flender a visit
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German minister pays Flender a visit

Aug 16, 2023

Dr Robert Habeck saw how wind turbine drives are assembled at the manufacturer's Voerde site

German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Dr Robert Habeck (pictured: left) has paid a visit to the Flender's wind turbine drive factory in Voerde.

Flender is the only manufacturer remaining on the market that produces drive systems for wind turbines in Germany, and equips every third turbine worldwide with one of its drive components, the company said. Minister Habeck was impressed by the technology and the dimensions of the gearbox production in Voerde, Flender added.

On average, three to four wind gearboxes leave the plant every day bound for the onshore and offshore wind farms.

In the case of the offshore giants, the gearboxes from Voerde currently reach power classes of up to 10MW, are several metres high and weigh up to one hundred tonnes.

These ever-growing structures will soon no longer be able to be transported by road, so Flender is currently on the lookout for a manufacturing site on the water to be able to supply offshore wind farms by ship.

Habeck said: "I'm learning a lot here. These technologies are the prerequisite to reach our energy transition targets and they are a masterpiece of engineering." During the tour of the plant, Flender employees not only showed the minister the production steps, they also let the politician lend a hand.

Habeck used a crane to insert the central planetary carrier into the gearbox, grabbed a huge wrench, started the final test run of two offshore giants, and finally brought a tested gearbox on its way to the field with a final quality control tag - including a spontaneous, personal greeting. Flender chief executive Andreas Evertz (pictured: right) felt it was important to give the minister and his team another message to take with them: without industrial production and raw material extraction, there is no energy transition.

He said that wind turbines need cement for the foundations, steel for the towers, composite materials for the rotor blades, which need to be extracted and produced by traditional industries.

He said: "This is the second part of our business.

"You can find Flender everywhere. With our gearboxes for all industrial sectors, we ensure that they continue to provide the basic materials for our daily lives.

"Above all, our innovations ensure that they can do this in an increasingly energy-efficient way." Habeck added: "To reach our targets in the energy transition, we need value creation in our own country, and we need to involve existing companies like Flender.

"I very much hope that the measures we have put in place for the rapid expansion of wind power will keep a lot of value creation here."