Our sophisticated steel products can make a considerable contribution to conserving resources in the many different industries. A study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group showed that around one third of the CO2 reductions planned for Germany in the period through 2020 can only be realized with the aid of innovative steel products. The Technology Division also focuses on sustainability issues when developing products. Such issues are a major driver of innovation and are, at the same time, of growing significance for the competitive edge of our products.
The construction of wind turbines, above all in offshore wind farms, would be unthinkable without stable, corrosion resistant steel components. Today's wind turbines are more than 80% steel. As early as 1996, Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH was making heavy plate and cut-to-size blanks for the wind power industry. By the end of 2011, it had delivered approximately 950,000 tons for around 7,800 towers for wind turbines right across Europe. The installed capacity of these wind turbines amounted to around 15,600 megawatts, sufficient to supply more than nine million households with electricity.
Steel tubes from the Salzgitter Group not only improve the efficiency of modern fossil fuel power plants, they are also used in the construction of solar power plants, such as the Andasol 3 power plant in Andalusia, southern Spain. Salzgitter Mannesmann Precisie B.V., one of the leading suppliers of heat exchange tubes, produced more than 12,000 precision tubes for this power plant. The three solar power plants that are almost identical in construction have a peak power output of 50 megawatts each, enough to supply approximately half a million people with electricity.
Lightweight construction features in the automotive sector's key strategies for lowering fuel consumption. The HSD®steel (High Strength and Ductility) of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH enables lighter vehicles to be built without any detrimental impact on safety. The steel unites highest strength with exceptionally good ductility while keeping thickness to a minimum. These properties open up considerable potential for other areas of application that are also set to become increasingly important for electromobility in the medium and long term.
Sustainable solutions that reduce production costs and meet the highest quality requirements are at the heart of all new products developed by KHS GmbH. The "Innofill Glass", a filling system for glass bottles, represents a ground-breaking new generation. In comparison with conventional solutions, the new technology saves up to 40 % on the electric power needed by both the drive system and the vacuum pump. Water consumption is also reduced by up to 30 % and, with the optionally available Eco module, by as much as up to 98 %. In November 2011, KHS was awarded the "Energy-Efficient System Technology" TÜV certificate for this innovative system with its outstanding energy profile.