Nordseewerke has filed for insolvency

Friday, 5 June, 2015 - 10:15
Nordseewerke files for insolvency (Photo: dpa picture alliance)
Nordseewerke files for insolvency (Photo: dpa picture alliance)

Nordseewerke GmbH, a manufacturer of foundation elements for the construction of offshore wind turbines located in Emden, submitted an application for the initiation of insolvency proceedings at the Aurich insolvency court on Friday morning. The reason for beginning insolvency proceedings is the looming insolvency due to a lack of orders.

Nordseewerke manufactures tripods, jackets and transition pieces for the construction of offshore wind turbines. A total of 181 employees, 80% of which have been in short-time work since September 2014, will be affected by the insolvency proceedings. Employees will receive insolvency compensation for a period of three months until insolvency proceedings are opened. As recently as 2013, Nordseewerke had been able to obtain orders and process them successfully, and after restructuring its organisation and optimising its processes, the company had also generated significant profit.

A lack of orders led to the insolvency

Nordseewerke as well as its competitors are suffering under the current policy framework; some of its competitors have also recently initiated insolvency proceedings. The uncertainty of potential clients regarding the funding model for offshore wind energy after 2020 is particularly problematic. In view of the fact that the planning phase as well as obtaining the necessary approvals for offshore wind farms can take several years, project developers and operators are hesitant to sign contracts. However, Nordseewerke's management emphasises that suppliers currently have no open claims against the company and that it does not owe money to banks.

Nordseewerke GmbH was founded in 1903 as a shipyard. During the past fifteen years, the company has changed owners several times, and it has been a 100% subsidiary of DSD Steel Group since 2013. In the past, the parent company had completely foregone distribution of profits in order to increase the capital base for processing follow-up orders. It had also waived rental payments for land and machinery to give Nordseewerke GmbH more financial leeway.

Dr Jörg Gollnick, an insolvency lawyer from the law firm Heidland Werres Diederichs from Cologne, was appointed to be the advisory lawyer for the company's management, which will remain in office. The insolvency court will also appoint a trustee, who will have a supervisory role. Insolvency proceedings under the company's own administration are expected to be officially opened in early August 2015.

Volker Buddensiek

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