SOMMER start major project on the Isle

published on 29. March 2019 11:01

Some € 52 million – the specialist in façade systems, steel constructions and safety technology is doing good business in England. It is the biggest order in the company’s history.


Sommer Group with its headquarters in Döhlau (civil parish of Hof) is involved in a gigantic project in England. It profits from the fact that Great Britain – contrary to Germany – still counts on nuclear energy. The company will supply safety technology – from physical protection doors and gates, blast dampers and grids up to burst membranes – for the new nuclear power plant of Hinkley Point C, located next to Bridgwater, a town in the southwest of England. We are talking about more than 1000 physical protection constructions.


The order awarded to the Upper Franconians has an overall value equivalent to € 52.2 million as Ms. Sommer-Pechstein, the Managing Associate, states by adding: “This is the largest order in our company’s history”. Sommer has acquired extensive expertise in safety technology over decades and holds an exceptional position internationally in this field. As a medium-sized company, it is something special to be responsible for part of the security architecture of the megaproject on the Isle, the construction of which will take several years. "This is a confirmation of our work," she continues. She is pleased about the "excellent capacity utilisation in our company in the years to come".


Hinkley Point C is a gigantic construction site. According to the original plans, the construction project, estimated at around € 20 billion, was to be completed by 2025, but there have been some delays in the past. The construction of the two reactors was and is controversial, not least in view of the catastrophe that had happened in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011. The British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, on the other hand, had spoken of an "important strategic decision". The power plant is being built by the French energy group EDF and the Chinese state-owned company CGN.


For many years Sommer has been doing good business in the security sector. The company having 400 employees obtained extensive orders from the US military. It equipped the army schools in Wiesbaden (Hesse) as well as in Spangdahlem and Kaiserslautern (both Rhineland-Palatinate) with special blast-resistant door and window constructions. The special glass roof which spans the central taxi stand at London's Paddington station has also been supplied by the Upper Franconian company. Sommer is also involved in the construction of the New National Museum in Norway's capital Oslo. Here the specialists from Döhlau develop, design, produce and install burglar-resistant façades and doors.


The company’s management, which, apart from Iris Sommer-Pechstein, also includes her brother Oliver Sommer and Thomas Minks, looks back on an extremely successful business year 2018. In all three divisions – façade construction, building security and high-security technology – business ran smoothly. According to the management the company reached a turnover of € 65 million. And: Last year ended with a record order intake of € 108 million. “We are well on the way”, states Oliver Sommer. Which goals has the management set for 2019? “We want to keep turnover at least stable”, answers Iris Sommer-Pechstein.


The Döhlau-based company is especially proud of an award received in 2018. They were honoured with the “HPC Gold Ribbon Excellence Award” in Bristol, UK for outstanding project management. The prize was awarded for the excellent handling of the initial order related to Hinkley Point C. “And that was the starting point for subsequently obtaining the largest order in our company’s history,” says Oliver Sommer. For him the prize is the manifestation that Sommer’s expertise is also highly appreciated abroad. This is also an important message for young people living in our region: “If you want to work on an international scale, you will find companies here that are successful all over the world.”


Published on 26. February 2019 - Frankenpost, Matthias Will