Dr. Klaus Harste & Dr. Paul Belche: Cooked, forged and innovative – premium-quality steel from the Saar

Both Saarhütten (Saar iron and steelworkplants) in Völklingen and Dil­­lingen have found niches over the past few years, in which they are “top” of the hard to come by global market. Steel from Saarland has become an internationally-recognized premium product. It helps the incorporation of the Dillinger Hüttenwerke as well as Saarstahl AG to implement their successful strategy worldwide, close to the markets and close to clients. As flat steel manufacturer focusing on heavy plates, Dillinger Hütte al­­ways maintained a special place in the steel industry. Whether for machinery or boiler construction, steel construc­tion, the building machinery sector or for off­­shore industry and pipeline con­­struction, the high-tech plates of Dil­­lin­ger Hütte travel around the world to­­day to be­­come part of many large projects. From the Shanghai World Financial Center (Chi­­na) to the Golden Ears Bridge in Vancouver (Canada), from the Viaduc de Millau in France to the Heron Tower in London to the wind turbine offshore structures such as Alpha Ventus off the East Frisian is­­land of Borkum.

Yet, above all, it takes part in the ge­­n­­eral energy boom through its quality supply to the 50-per-cent associated company Europipe (world-lead­­ing ma­­nufacturers of large-diameter pipes for the trans­­por­­tation of oil and gas), especially when this has to do with de­­manding conduit pipes, for ex­­ample in deep seas or arctic regions.


There is practically no internatio­­nal pipe­­line pro­­ject world wide for which Dillinger Blech does not go into ac­­tion. Saar­­stahl AG, with headquarters in Völ­­­k­­lin­­­gen and locations in Neun­kir­­chen and Saar­­brücken-­­Burbach, has transformed it­­self over the past few years as long steel manufacturer on the international mar­­ket of industrial mass producers a to spe­­­­­­cialist. 60 per cent of Saarstahl’s rolled metal products go to the automotive sec­­­­tor, among other things as tyre cord, screws and bolts. Steel from Völklin­­gen goes to high-tech products of the auto­­mo­­bile industry and its sup­­pliers (like com­­mon-rail systems from Bosch Hom­­burg), just as to international aerospace (Ariane). A particular highlight within the Saarstahl concern, the Saar­­schmiede counts as a premium supplier of open-die forged pieces for the energy sector.
Furthermore, the open-die forging found in con­­struction (Forge Saar) will double the Völklinger Schmie­­de capacity with a 12,000-tonne compactor and two ma­­ni­­­­­­pulators and will reinforce the to­­day already outstanding market position in­­ter­­nationally. The new forge is to be­­gin operation in mid-2010 with an in­­vest­­ment volume of 450 million euros and 500 new work places. The business conceptions of both Saar­­hütten have, in the mean­­­­time, become fairly similar. Both Saar­­stahl and Dillinger Hütte have established them­­selves as premium manufacturers, away from mass steel and towards high-qua­­lity special steel with in­­creasingly de­­manding areas of application. Intensive re­­search and development work flows in­­to consi­derable future investments, in or­­der to de­­velop products for the markets of to­­mor­­row with their clients. Both companies to­­gether target an investment volume of over 800 million euros bet­­ween 2007 and 2011. Among these are im­­por­­tant joint projects such as the refurbish­­ment of the Zentral­­kokerei Saar GmbH (ZKS) (renewal of the third coke battery), the construction of the blast-fur­­nace-gas power plant as well as the construction of a third Kohlenmühle for the ex­­pansion of the ROGESA coal grind­­ing plant.

Here, particular value is laid on the protec­­tion of the environment; a minimum of one third of all investments dedicates itself to this theme.

Due to their different products, Dil­­lin­­ger Hütte and Saarstahl represent them­­selves separately on the markets, but look to develop as many similarities as possible in order to enhance synergies. This counts for the commonly-owned subsidiaries, Zentralkokerei Saar GmbH (ZKS) as well as also RO­­GE­­SA Ro­­heisen­­­­ge­­sellschaft Saar mbH, both with headquarters in Dillingen. The growing co-operation between Dil­­linger Hütte and Saarstahl also ex­­pres­­ses itself in the increasing interlock on a managerial level. Relations Director, Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, and Finance Man­­ager, Fred Metzken, are equally seated in the Dillinger Board of Re­­pre­­sen­­tatives under the direction of Dr. Paul Belche, as well as in the Völklinger Board under the direction of Dr. Klaus Harste. A special focus of both companies is the training of young people. Saarstahl and Dillinger Hütter hope to secure a stem of qualified skilled workers for the future.
Both are among the by far largest training companies on the Saar. As Saar­­land is a region with a rooted in­­dus­­trial tradition, the Saar steel industry has, as ever, succeeded to win over many young people. The demand for training positions at Dillinger Hütte and the Saarstahl AG is, as ever, very high.


The steel industry of the Saarland stra­te­gi­cal­­ly decided on a path independent from ma­­jor international concerns. Through the sale of more than 20 per cent of the shares of DHS – Dillinger Hütte Saarstahl AG, Dillingen – on part of the largest steel concern in the world, Ar­­celorMittal, to Saarland shareholders, the Luxem­bourgers lost the for­­mer no­­minal majority of shares to Dillingen and now only hold 30.08 per cent. All other shares of the Saarstahl AG and AG of the Dillinger Hüttenwerke are in hand of the Saarland.


019Dr. Ing. Klaus Harste studied and attained his doctorate in Clausthal. Then occupied in science at Clausthal University of Tech­­­­no­­logy, he changed to the AG of the Dillinger Hüttenwerke in 1989 and to Saar­­­­stahl in 2001. He has been chairman of the board at Saarstahl AG since 2009



Belche-2Dr. rer. nat. Paul Belche joined the for­mer Arbed Group located in Luxembourg in 1983, after his studies in physics and doctorate. Belche has been member of the board since 2005 and since 2006, chairman of the executive board at the Dillinger Hüttenwerke.