Critics of the planned Tesla factory in Grünheide are in great demand. Chancellor Merkel nevertheless sees “great approval” for the planned plant in Brandenburg.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel sees the speed with which the US carmaker Tesla is building its new plant in Grünheide near Berlin as a model for other construction projects. “I am pleased that Brandenburg is showing with Tesla how you can enforce things in a short period of time with our laws and funding options,” said the Chancellor in an interview with the editorial network Germany (RND).
At the same time, Merkel showed understanding for the criticism of environmentalists and residents who fear negative consequences for the water supply in the region as a result of the factory settlement. “Protest and objection are part of the essence of democracy,” said the CDU politician.
“Anyone who believed that the suburbs of Berlin were ideal for living because there would certainly never be industry settled there, of course, wonders what that means for them.”. Overall, however, I see great approval. “
Since last Wednesday, critics who had submitted objections to the state have been debating their concerns with the State Environment Agency at a hearing in Erkner. The need to speak is so great that the hearing takes longer than planned. Originally two days had been estimated. The discussion is to continue on Friday, the eighth day. Whether or not she will finish is still open.
The Brandenburg Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke reacted calmly to the lengthy hearing. “So far, I have not known any problem that would stand in the way of the building permit,” said Woidke of the business news agency Bloomberg. “I assume that a legally impeccable permit is possible here.”
Up to 40,000 jobs expected
So far, Tesla is building with provisional authorizations for individual construction phases. A final decision by the responsible State Office for the Environment is expected at the end of the year. In the meantime, the factory construction is continuing – the forest area required for this has long been cleared. The pace is insane, said the Tesla spokesman on the first day of the hearing last Wednesday.
In the Brandenburg Tesla factory, which the Brandenburg Minister of Economic Affairs Jörg Steinbach (SPD) expects to create up to 40,000 jobs, the first electric cars are to roll off the assembly line as early as summer 2021. Tesla boss Elon Musk, who saw the progress for himself at the beginning of September, also wants to manufacture battery cells and entire electric car batteries there.
The plans for its own battery production are likely to be related to an application to clear an additional 100 hectares of forest that Tesla had made shortly before the hearing. That would mark the beginning of the second construction phase. Construction on the first 90 hectares in Grünheide is well advanced. Tesla is building there via individual permits in accordance with Section 8a of the Federal Immission Control Act.
According to Woidke, Eon should ensure the energy supply for the e-car factory from 2021. Brandenburg and the Edis unit of the energy supplier are in talks with Tesla to supply the system with renewable energies, said the SPD politician. The regional energy service provider Edis belongs to two thirds Eon and one third municipalities from Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Tesla wants electricity from Eon
Eon CEO Johannes Teyssen said in the spring at the company’s balance sheet press conference that Tesla had given Eon “the job of realizing the punctual energy supply for their European gigafactory near Berlin”. Eon has a time limit of 18 months for this. “We will manage that despite Corona,” added Teyssen.
The factory is to be connected to the medium-voltage network of Eon’s subsidiary Edis. The factory will have an electricity requirement of just over 100 megawatts, explained an Eon spokesman at the time. That corresponds to the electricity consumption of a big city like Chemnitz.
Meanwhile, the hearing of the objections against the factory continues. Around 30 critics discussed on Thursday in the town hall of Erkner southeast of Berlin, among other things, traffic and species protection.
Conservationists and local residents criticized the fact that lizards and smooth snakes had been killed. “A munitions clearance should not have happened,” said the citizens’ initiative Grünheide against the Gigafactory.
According to an internal document, the Oder-Spree district had issued an exemption from species protection bans for sand lizards and smooth snakes, among other things, on February 24, in order to be able to remove contaminated sites on the site of the planned factory. It was valid until the end of hibernation.