The final approval for Tesla’s Gigafactory in Grünheide is apparently being delayed further. According to a media report, Brandenburg’s Environment Minister Axel Vogt is said to have cited a lack of “fundamental information”.
Besides, there is probably a threat of a new interpretation of the plans, which would result in further delays. A few days ago, a committee meeting took place in the Brandenburg state parliament, in which Environment Minister Axel Vogel stated that there was still a lack of basic information for the final decision so that it could not be expected in mid-May. Tesla may also have to hold a new public consultation because of changes to the previously communicated plans.
This would result in enormous delays. As was the case last year, the new plans would have to be made available to the public for four weeks, after which citizens and associations would have four weeks to submit objections, and these would then be evaluated. This would mean that final approval would not be granted in mid-May but even later. This would mean that Tesla would not meet its official target date for a production start this July.
As Vogt stated regarding the responsible department head, a decision on a possible interpretation could only be made when further statements and expert opinions are available. This also poses the question of whether the public must re-evaluate the entire Tesla project or only modified partial aspects.
Even if a re-interpretation of the plans can be avoided, it still seems to be a matter of weeks, not days, until final approval. In addition to the final approval, the state authorities would also have numerous preliminary applications from Tesla for review. According to Minister Vogel, two further preliminary applications have been submitted since the end of March.
In addition to the permit, the committee meeting also dealt with the issue of water. As an employee of the State Environmental Agency reported to the German parliament, a preliminary exploration for a possible groundwater deposit in Hangelsberg is underway. However, it would probably take up to five years before water could actually flow from Hangelsberg to Tesla after developing the Freienbrink industrial estate. Tesla is not dependent on this water source in the first phase of development, but it will be in the subsequent phases.
teslamag.de (in German)