Direct Foreign Investments Confirm Niedersachsen’s Ranking as Germany’s Leading Energy State
Cooperation between Japanese partners and the State of Niedersachsen
March 2017 brought very good news for Niedersachsen: the go-ahead for building a large-scale hybrid electricity storage facility. Northwestern Niedersachsen is eminently suitable for testing large hybrid battery systems that can make a crucial contribution to exploiting wind power. The investment costs – 24 million Euros – will be born by Japan’s state economic agency New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the plant will be built by Japanese companies Hitachi Chemical, Hitachi Power Solutions and NKG Insulators in cooperation with the Niedersachsen electricity, gas, telecommunications and environmental utility EWE. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2018.
The hybrid storage facility comprises a lithium-ion battery delivering 7.5 MW, with a storage capacity of 2.5 MWh, and a sodium-sulphur battery of 20 MWh capacity delivering 4 MW. Combining these two forms ensures high capacity and fast charging and discharging. The entire facility is controlled by an energy management system linked to EWE’s energy trading systems and virtual power station. The battery facility will need a site of around 4,000 square metres, and this area is available close to the transformer substation in Varel.
Danish supplier to Siemens invests in Cuxhaven
Nordmark Maskinfabrik A/S is building a new factory for wind turbine components at Cuxhaven, investing around 18 million Euros.
Nordmark Maskinfabrik A/S is a family-run company, founded in 2002 with just seven employees at the port of Sæby in northern Denmark to fabricate large turbine components. Today around 130 people work for Nordmark in Denmark.
The company is one of Europe’s leading suppliers to the wind power industry, especially of rotor hubs, rotors, rotor housings, machine mountings and bearing mountings. Currently, Nordmark makes components for onshore and offshore wind turbines up to 8MW, with plans for 10 MW and more.
Nordmark already supplies the essential load-bearing components for the 6-8 MW Siemens wind turbines, built in Denmark until now but whose final assembly will soon move to Cuxhaven. Nordmark components include machine mountings, rotor hubs and the stator plates on which the permanent magnets are mounted.
Cooperation with Siemens Wind Power makes the establishment of a new factory at Cuxhaven close to the new Siemens works the logical next step in the company’s development. Siemens welcomes the presence of strategically important large component suppliers close to its own works to cut transport distances and reduce costs, thus making wind power more competitive. Furthermore, the components’ dimensions and weight make transport from Denmark to Cuxhaven impracticable.
The newly-built factory at Cuxhaven will be equipped with four identical CNC machining centres, the largest available in northern Europe, that will guarantee increased supplies of consistently high quality components and make a sizeable contribution to developing the viability of offshore wind power.
Nordmark has acquired a site at the suppliers park from the Cuxhaven municipal subsidiary CuxHafEn GmbH, and has already begun erecting the production hall in which the CNC machines for high-precision manufacture of rotor hubs, machine mountings and stator plates will be installed. Commissioning is planned for the beginning of 2018, the first employees have been taken on and will be trained in Denmark for their work in Cuxhaven; most of the 30-odd new Nordmark staff will be highly-qualified specialists in CNC machining technology.
Nordmark in Hedensted: Processing of a rotorhousing © Nordmark
WABCO invests in its Hannover location: new Engineering Innovation Center
WABCO, a leading global supplier of technologies and services to improve the safety, efficiency and networking of commercial vehicles, is currently building a new Engineering Innovation Center in Hannover. This investment in the Hannover location enhances the American company’s position as world leader in vehicle technology and top employer.
The foundation stone for the 11,500-m2 facility was laid in March of 2017, and from 2018 around 450 staff will be working here on cutting-edge technologies and systems for commercial vehicles all over the world. The Innovation Center will play a significant role in developing new solutions towards networking and autonomous driving to make trucks, busses and trailers even safer and more efficient. Along with laboratories and testing rooms there will also be innovatively organised office space that will enhance collaboration between the different product development teams; a team of engineers was involved in designing the new office to generate a creative atmosphere. WABCO’s advanced development department will also be located here, to work on future projects such as e-mobility and automated driving in the commercial vehicle sector. WABCO is investing around 25 million Euros in building the development center.
The topping out ceremony was in October and completion is scheduled for the latter half of 2018, coinciding with the IAA commercial vehicle fair.
Today Hannover is WABCO’s largest product development location, where the company develops innovative processes and high-tech products including electronic braking systems, hydraulic anti-wheel-lock braking, gearshift mechanisms and compressors. Hannover is also home to the WABCO Academy, the company’s competence center for training solutions, and the associated Sales and Training Center, opened in 2012. Currently WABCO employs over 2,000 people at its Hannover location, including around 650 engineers. Worldwide, from its headquarters in Brussels WABCO employs 13,000 people in 40 countries.
WABCO: New Engineering Innovation Center in Hannover © Wabco