Siemens CEO proposes to transform lignite mining region into e-mobility hub
In a surprise move, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser has proposed a large-scale project to transform Germany’s eastern lignite mining region into a hub for future technologies, such as e-mobility, reports Rüdiger Köhn in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We have to ask ourselves what will happen to the region given its structural challenges,” Kaeser told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting.
The eastern German region of Lusatia faces economic upheaval in the short term because of the potential closure of a struggling Siemens plant producing turbines for fossil power plants, and in the longer term due to the coal exit. Kaeser said the Siemens turbine plant could remain in business for two to five years to ease the transition to a new technology cluster, which could focus on storage technologies, such as battery production, where Siemens could put its experience as a supplier to Tesla’s US battery production to use.
Kaeser added that such an “industrial concept Upper Lusatia” required the participation of industry, as well as subsidies from the regional and federal governments. Siemens has posted a 14 percent drop in quarterly profits caused by low demand from the power and gas sectors, reports Reuters newswire.
Read an online version of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article in German here. Find the Reuters report on Siemens’ quarterly earnings in English here. Find the Siemens press release in English here.
Find background in the factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?