Brandenburg – Germany’s Next New Industrial Centre
Brandenburg will soon be home to Europe’s largest lithium factory. The Canadian company Rock Tech Lithium is starting operations in the Lusatia industrial region. Following the TESLA Gigafactory, battery production from US company Microvast, and the manufacture of cathode material by BASF, Brandenburg continues to enhance its pioneering role in electromobility. Brandenburg is on its way to becoming one of Germany’s new industrial centres.
From 2024 onwards, the plan is to process enough lithium for 500,000 electric cars in Lusatia. Rock Tech Lithium in Guben wants to invest 470 million euros and create 160 industrial jobs. This means that Brandenburg will be “one of Europe’s first regions to cover almost the entire length of the electric car value chain,” says Rock Tech boss Dirk Harbecke. “We’re in Brandenburg because an electromobility cluster is developing here.” The renowned Prognos Institute concludes that Brandenburg is well on its way to becoming a new industrial star. A whole new location for the automotive industry is being created, a location that perfectly highlights the industry’s transformation. Olaf Arndt, economic geographer from Prognos, told Handelsblatt that he believes the automotive industry is being rediscovered in Brandenburg.
“Rock Tech’s move reinforces Brandenburg’s position as a centre of electromobility and the energy transition in Germany. Brandenburg is the future home of the complete value-added chain, from processing raw materials to battery and cell manufacture, to e-vehicle construction, and domestic battery recycling. The primary materials for lithium-ion batteries are crucial to the success of electromobility. In this area the Lusatia industrial region plays an important role in that it provides concrete opportunities for new value creation and futureproof jobs, as Rock Tech shows,” explains the Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Steinbach.
Brandenburg’s new profile goes from strength to strength
Brandenburg’s profile as a centre of modern mobility continues to strengthen on the international stage. And this means that investment requests are visibly increasing. In addition, Rock Tech’s presence emphasises Brandenburg’s expertise as a location specialised in raw materials processing. “We will continue to support the company with our services,” said Dr. Steffen Kammradt, managing director of the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg (WFBB).
Brandenburg is increasingly establishing itself in the premier league of modern mobility. Brandenburg attracts many other innovative projects besides electromobility. For example DEKRA, Germany’s biggest safety testing and inspection organisation, now runs a European testing centre for automated driving on the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. And aviation is also looking to sustainable innovations: the joint project Hybrid-Elektrisches Fliegen from Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd. & Co KG, the Brandenburg University Cottbus-Senftenberg and APUS-Aeronautical Engineering GmbH are developing environmentally friendly drive technologies for aviation. The company ME Energy – Liquid Electricity from Potsdam is developing a self-contained charging infrastructure for electromobility. Meanwhile, in north Brandenburg, the Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB) and Deutsche Eisenbahn Service AG (DESAG) are testing hydrogen for use in the railway industry.
Location assets attract investors
Brandenburg’s economic development agency also offers investors services relevant to employment promotion. This is unique in Germany and is of great interest for international relocations. Commercial and industrial spaces in favourable locations, skilled workers, a great number of scientific and research institutions, close network structures, and professional investor services are also main parts of the attraction. On top of that, companies benefit from excellent funding conditions, not just for investments, but for research and innovation, and even employee training.
The federal states of Brandenburg and Berlin together make up Germany’s Capital Region – one of the most dynamic economic areas in Europe. The Capital Region is almost as large as Belgium and, with six million residents, has a larger population than Denmark, Norway or Finland. Brandenburg and the Berlin metropolitan region make the perfect pair.