Industrial location

Germany´s Saarland –

that´s how transformation goes

Saarland understands transformation. With the multiple changes in its national status since the First World War, the state in direct vicinity of France and Luxembourg already had to repeatedly adjust to fundamental changes. The last turning point to be managed was the end of coal mining in 2012, after more than 200 years. Today Saarland is a model region – also for mastering structural change.

February 2022

Green steel from Saarland

Through a targeted support of future-oriented and growth industries, the small federal state has developed into a well-known science location. When it comes to combining scientific excellence with industry-related development, it is one of the pioneers. Now, it is essential to strongly promote currently available future technologies and to turn them into practical applications.

For the Saarland steel industry, for example, the CO2 transformation towards the production of green steel is presently the most important major project. To achieve this goal, the supervisory boards decided on a clearly defined approach for the future: 3.5 billion euros will be invested in the conversion to green steel in Saarland. So, 55 percent of CO2 shall be saved by 2030 and 80 percent by 2035.

At the two sites of Dillinger Hütte and Saarstahl in Völklingen, production shall start in 2027. For this purpose, two so-called electric arc furnaces (EAF) will be built in Dillingen and Völklingen and one direct reduction plant (DRI) in Dillingen. The green steel produced there will be marketed under the brand name `Pure Steel +`. Every year, 4.9 million tons of CO2 are to be saved during production.

The restructuring of the steel industry is a milestone for climate protection, but also for the securing of jobs. More than 10,000 people are currently employed here in the production of high-quality steel.

By the way: For its activities and investments in research and development, Dillinger was awarded the `Innovative through Research 2022/2023` seal. The Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V., which is the biggest private promotor of science in Germany, thus honors research-based companies for their innovative capacity and research competence.

Grüne Hütte © Dillinger

ZF: Saarbrücken plant becomes lead location for e-mobility

The Friedrichshafen-based transmission and technology group has selected its plant in the state capital of Saarbrücken: the new lead location for electric drives will be installed here. With roughly 9,000 employees, it is the largest industrial employer in the region and at the same time one of ZF´s biggest plants worldwide. New production lines for the production of so-called e-axles and thus drives of electric cars shall be launched as early as 2023. Series production is planned for 2024.

With its `Next Generation Mobility` strategy, ZF, which is the second largest German automotive supplier, activates the transformation towards electromobility at its factories. In Saarland, the course has now been set in an exemplary way:

With the aim of establishing a competitive production of purely electric drive systems here, the automotive supplier, together with its employees and the state government, is defining comprehensive measures to secure the future. These consist of large investments by the group, employees´ contributions to a future fund and active support through incentives by side of the Saarland government.

The Saarbrücken plant will have `process control` worldwide for the industrialization of electric drive systems, said ZF board member Stephan von Schuckmann, who is responsible for e-mobility. Already now, ZF has an order backlog of 25 billion euros for this e-axle system.

At ZF Saarbrücken, 8-speed hybrid transmissions for passenger cars are manufactured. At the same time, also the production of drive technology for pure e-vehicles is now being prepared. © ZF

Good prospects for Germany´s Saarland

Modern industrial site of the future …

Given its links to the European business centres and in particular its excellent location on the French border, Germany’s Saarland is the perfect base for serving the entire European market in under 18 hours’ driving time by truck.

… with excellent research

Leibniz, DFKI, Max-Planck or Helmholtz – our research institutes are world leaders promoting outstanding developments. They also produce highly-qualified graduates for the labour market, as industrial tradition and cutting-edge technologies go hand in hand here. This is what makes business in Saarland so diverse and exciting.