Tesla gets preliminary approval for expansion of Grünheide plant

Tesla is allowed to grow its German Gigafactory in Grünheide outside of Berlin. The state authorities have approved the carmaker's application. The expansion involves construction work on the existing site - not to be confused with an externally planned freight station, which recently caused unrest.

Image: Tesla

Tesla wants to increase production capacity in Grünheide from 500,000 to one million vehicles per year by expanding its factory. These plans have been known for some time. According to the German news agency DPA, the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment has now given the green light for certain expansion work on the existing site, meaning Tesla can begin initial construction work ahead of schedule. The basic plans include the construction of another large hall and the optimisation of existing facilities. According to DPA, battery storage production will also be increased. Tesla’s first measures now include creating a logistics area for new cars (including underground pipes), constructing stairwells at the press shop, and installing solar panels on roofs.

Tesla submitted the approved application for the expansion of its plant in Grünheide to the state of Brandenburg in March 2023. It was the first application for partial approval; others will follow. According to earlier reports, the expansion involves 70 hectares in the north of the site. While the current development plan still covered the clearing, Tesla had to reapply for the expansion of the factory itself. The planned hall must thus be eligible for approval under the Federal Emission Control Act. Tesla is carrying out the approved preliminary work at its own risk, as final approval is still pending.

As mentioned, the production facilities will be built on the existing factory premises. According to earlier statements, Tesla has optimised planning and production processes so that the previously assumed and contractually agreed quantities of fresh water are also sufficient for the expansion. The company will achieve this by fully treating and reusing wastewater from production. In other words, the Texan company estimates that it can double its production capacity while using the same amount of water.

The expansion plans are flourishing at a time when Tesla is still in the ramp-up phase of the first factory section. According to DPA, the latest status is that around 300,000 units have rolled off the production line in Grünheide in twelve months. The workforce currently comprises around 12,000 employees.

Incidentally, the expansion plans should not be confused with an expansion announced in September 2022 for a new logistics centre, including a freight station. It will be built outside the existing site on a good 100 hectares of land in the east. The project is met with strong protests in Grünheide.

dw.com, msn.com


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