At a press conference on Tuesday 10 May 2022, the leadership of Paul Wurth and its related companies presented the state of the business and looked at key upcoming projects, including the new Luxembourg headquarters of Paul Wurth.
The performance of Paul Wurth in 2021 was its best in a decade, with significant projects signed or concluded around the world. It is now the leading centre for steel decarbonisation and hydrogen-based solutions for SMS group, the Düsseldorf-based plant engineering company for the metals industry that took over Luxembourg-based Paul Wurth SA last spring.
"It has been almost one year since SMS group took full control of Paul Wurth", said Georges Rassel, CEO of Paul Wurth. "Since then, there have been many changes to how our organisation works. However, we are committed to Luxembourg, and the planned new head office is a symbolic representation of our permanence in our home state".
The press conference saw Mr Rassel joined by the CEOs of two of Paul Wurth’s daughter companies, project management and engineering services business Paul Wurth Geprolux and intralogistics specialists CTI Systems. Together, the leaders highlighted their companies' recent performance, key projects and ambitions for the coming year.
Paul Wurth's priority development area is the rollout of green ironmaking technology around the world. The steel industry is responsible for about 7% of global CO2 emissions and primary ironmaking is the chief emitter in the value chain for products made from steel. Having developed several techniques to reduce CO2 emissions, including ways of sharply reducing emissions from existing facilities, Paul Wurth is offering these to ironmaking clients around the world in order to help reduce their environmental and climate impact.
"2021 was an excellent year for Paul Wurth, and our order intake was the highest it has been in a decade", said Mr Rassel. "This success is due, in part, to our widened offer of digital solutions and emissions-reducing technologies. Our services segment has also contributed strongly. Decarbonisation is a key part of our growth strategy, and it is starting to pay off".
Paul Wurth is also engaged in hydrogen and eFuels, technologies which are expected to help pave the way for CO2 emissions reductions in both the steel industry and in other hard-to-abate sectors, such as aviation. Recently, the Paul Wurth Chair in Energy Process Engineering was taken up at the University of Luxembourg; its holder will specifically be looking at advanced materials and systems for hydrogen technologies.
- Russia-Ukraine war
The Paul Wurth team expressed its shock at the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The company has been impacted by the conflict as the company has an established history of engagement in both Russia and the Ukraine.
"In line with our parent company's policy, we have frozen our operations in Russia, and no work other than safety-critical maintenance is being continued", explained Mr Rassel. "This action was taken as quickly as possible and was the case at least as of 10 March. In addition, the company is complying with all international and EU sanctions. We have supported our colleagues in Ukraine with unlimited support to get them to safety".
- New Paul Wurth campus
The new Paul Wurth campus will be located on the fittingly named Rue de l’Aciérie ("steel mill street" in English) in the Nei-Hollerich district of the Luxembourg City. Designed by METAFORM Architects, the construction will be overseen by Paul Wurth Geprolux.
"I am delighted to have been able to work with Paul Wurth on this important project. The new facilities will be more adaptable to modern working methods and strategies. The complex helps strengthen Paul Wurth's ties with the local community, with the site to feature spaces accessible to the general public", said Shahram Agaajani, Founder and Partner of METAFORM Architects. "In a nod to Paul Wurth’s long history in Luxembourg, the new office will be built directly on the site of its former foundry and workshop".
Paul Wurth Geprolux
According to its leadership, Paul Wurth Geprolux's success in 2021 was the product of the completion of several key projects across Luxembourg. The company supported the commissioning of the new 180,000 m2 European Parliament Konrad Adenauer-East building, the completion of Luxembourg's national stadium (Stade de Luxembourg) and the construction management of the new Centre National d’Intervention et de Secours (CNIS).
"Our expertise in building project management is appreciated within Luxembourg, and we are leaders in the supervision and execution of large and complex projects", noted Anne-Marie Solvi, CEO of Paul Wurth Geprolux. "We are now focusing on new business activities in Building Information Management and, in line with parent company Paul Wurth’s portfolio, on services related to decarbonisation strategies and new energy concepts in industry and urban districts".
CTI Systems proved resilient in 2021. The company is a globally recognised supplier of special machinery and highly-integrated solutions for the handling and storage of heavy loads. Last year, the company completed the commissioning of a dynamic picking and batch preparation system for Hydro Building Systems in France, as well as the first phases of an integrated aluminum scrap container handling and storage system for Aluminium Norf in Germany.
"Despite the difficult environment brought about by the COVID pandemic, CTI Systems has continued to prosper", said Bob Greiveldinger, CEO of CTI Systems. "Our projects are diverse, covering plants and special equipment for the aviation, paper and foil, metals and coating industries. Our adaptability has helped us explore new markets during the challenges posed by the past eighteen months".