MEMB E R COMP ANY P RO F I L E F.W. RØRTEKNIK
15000 m3 pressure tank being built – inside a building. 23.4 m in diameter x 40 m.
storage tanks come into the picture: they are used to cover these peak loads periods. As Ella explains: “Instead of buying a boiler that is too large and has unused capacity for most part of the day, you can use a storage tank that will take care of the large peak loads. Moreover, you can rely on the storage tank when maintenance on the system needs to be carried out. You can also optimize the plant operation depending on the purchase prices: by charging at night, when prices are low, and discharging at day, when prices are high”. The storage tanks designed and produced by F.W. Rørteknik’s are prefabricated and consist of many different plates that are transported to and welded together at the installation site. “We build on the sites: all over Denmark, Norway, Holland, all sorts of places. We build our storage tanks where the projects are.", Ella explains. The company’s most recurrent customer in Denmark are the district heating plants. They can, for instance, buy storage tanks from 1500m³ to up to 15,000m³, so there is great variation in demand. “It varies from year to year, but the district heating industry is indeed our biggest market. We have just recently built a very large oil storage tank at the Port of Skagen (the northernmost tip of Jutland), a 42,000m³ warehouse for oil. Such a project takes up much of the year for us, more time than making 10 small storage tanks. The demand is seasonal, but looking back at the last 10 years, we can say that storage tanks have represented the biggest part of our production. We have just delivered a 15,000m³ pressure storage tank in Lisbjerg (outside of Aarhus), which took us at least 1 year to build. We design it, mount it, making sure that everything is right", Ella continues.
Around 50% of the Danish storage tanks are produced by F.W. Rørteknik, a family-owned company from West Jutland, Denmark. Ella Lambertsen, owner and project manager, explains how the company went from producing district heating pipes to producing storage tanks: "My father, Lambert Lambertsen, started producing natural gas for DONG and has done so with great success throughout the '80s. He then started making district heating pipes and thereafter entered into a collaboration with a company that made steel tanks, in order to concentrate his presence in the district heating sector. After a few years delivering pipes and mounting steel tanks, he came out of that collaboration and started producing the steel tanks himself. So we have gone through a continuous product development; the fact that we have started in one place and now are in another shows that we have renewed us over the last 30 years. We started as a small company with 10 employees, today we are 40." F.W. Rørteknik’s technical knowledge is the company’s main differentiator, as Ella says: “We produce district heating storage tanks. We have a product that you would not immediately think into a project because it was developed based on the Danish mindset and experience”. As in many other countries, the consumption of hot water in Danish households goes up in the morning, falls during the day, goes back up in the late afternoon and, finally, falls again in the following hours. Behind this cycle is a system: the hot water that consumers have access to in their homes comes from a district heating plant, where there is a hot water boiler generating heat. This boiler, however, only produces heat up to a certain level, meaning that when consumption of hot water rises, the extra need must be covered. This is where
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