The future of the German ports
National concept for the sea and river ports 2015 has been published
On 20 January 2016, the German federal cabinet has released the new national port concept 2015. With it, the federal government commits to strengthen the competitiveness of the German ports and to dissolve bottlenecks in the hinterland and sea connections.
The federal government and also the states are responsible for the implementation of the described measures. In specific areas, the industry is to be responsible as well. The implementation of 155 separate measures is described in the 132 pages alongside general statements of the new port concept’s goals. These include the targeted expansion of port infrastructure, measures for training and employment as well as better coordination of port politics between EU, federal government and the states.
For the north German ports, there are positive signals regarding the deepening of the navigation channels Ems, Weser and Elbe. However, the implementation is still largely dependent on the outcome of corresponding judicial decisions. The measures are meant to significantly improve the accessibility of the north German seaports. In addition, the federal government aims to further increase the ports’ competitiveness through the expansion of hinterland connections and also considers increasing financial support of the ports for the provision of efficient handling capacities in the offshore wind energy sector. However, the port concept states that it is the duty of the federal states to comprehensibly and transparently prove a tangible demand for funding in this regard. At the same time, the federal government cautions against a port’s one-sided orientation towards offshore wind energy. The expansion plans should be adapted to ensure a continuous utilisation of the terminals, not only depending on offshore projects.
The resolution of the national port concept was met with a divided response. On the day of publication, several associations already issued corresponding statements. The federal association of German Inland Shipping (Bundesverband der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt e.V./BDB) is criticising the fact that the concerns of the German inland waterway ports are not adequately addressed in the port concept. In their statement, the BDB mentions that, considering the fact that the hinterland transports of the ports of Zeebrugge, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam account for a large portion of the German cargo volumes in the Rhine river valley, a nearly complete focus on the north German seaports alone is incomprehensible.
Overall, however, the national port concept’s resolution was positively received and a rapid implementation of the listed measures was requested. The Central Association of German Sea Ports (Zentralverband Deutscher Seehäfen e.V./ZDS) announced that in an overall view, the existing concept prepares the way for successful port politics in the coming years.
Sale of Old Fishing Port has started
Cuxhaven seeks developers and investors for this historic part of the port
On 8 January, the port operator Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG (NPorts) has initiated the procedure to sell the historic part of the port “Alter Fischereihafen” (Old Fishing Port), which lies close to the city centre. The object of purchase includes 57, 600 square metres of fully-developed storage areas on both sides of the port basin as well as 13 buildings of varying sizes, which are mostly let, and the surrounding wharves of 1, 200 metres length. The port basin, which measures circa 42, 000 square metres and is tide dependent, will mostly remain the property of NPorts. Some of the buildings, wharves and the port basin are listed and the whole area is flood-protected. For the development and the implementation of a master plan for the Old Fishing Port, NPorts and the town of Cuxhaven are now looking for interested developers and investors using an expression-of-interest procedure. Through this, interested parties can receive information regarding the object of purchase, the state of repair and the current utilisation structure. The tender documents are available until 05.02.2016. The application deadline is 18.05.2016. NPorts provides further information here: www.nports.de/de/aktuelles.
New Year reception of UnternehmensVerband Cuxhaven
On 12 January, the business association (UnternehmensVerband Cuxhaven Elbe-Weser-Dreieck e.V./UVC) held its annual New Year reception at the Donner’s Hotel. 140 guests, among them economic and political representatives as well as association members, attended and listened to Board Chairman Thomas Windgassen’s welcome speech, in which he also addressed the widely discussed current refugee situation. The crisis has brought problems, he said, but also offers a lot of new chances – for example for the job market. Windgassen emphasised that refugees bring with them a lot of potential, which can be used. A job, he explained, could also greatly facilitate the integration of asylum seekers. Windgassen saw this as a possible solution for Germany’s current lack of skilled personnel, which will also become more of a focus locally because of the settlement of a Siemens Wind Power production facility in Cuxhaven.
UVC Managing Director Markus Heinig voiced some criticism on the intention to increase the trade tax in Cuxhaven. Higher assessment rates will not automatically bring more tax revenue, he said. The higher the taxes are raised, the higher the danger is that local businesses emigrate or that businesses interested in this attractive location decide against a settlement in Cuxhaven due to the high taxes, Heinig explained. In his speech, Lord Mayor Dr Ulrich Getsch countered that he understands the businesses’ concerns, but that said measure was just one out of many and that the city of Cuxhaven due to the debt crisis had no chance to act differently.
Kai Uwe Bielefeld, administrator of the district of Cuxhaven, also addressed the influx of asylum seekers in the region and confirmed that while the accommodation and support presents the district’s administration with challenges, in his view the new arrivals bring more chances than risks. He also announced that 18 new jobs will be created by the district administration for the refugee work in 2016.
Information event for Siemens project
On 21 January, Siemens AG and the city of Cuxhaven held a press conference at the museum “Windstärke 10” to give a status update for the Siemens settlement project. Siemens project leader Dr Thorsten Granzow provided an overview of the current project status and, together with business developer Dr Hans-Joachim Stietzel, answered questions regarding the construction of the Siemens production facility and the new jobs it will create.
During the subsequent visit of the construction site, they outlined the work for the dynamic compaction of the ground. “We are on schedule, ” assured Dr Granzow. The building site preparations are expected to last until early April. In February, the installation of pillar foundations will commence. They are necessary due to the heavy weights that will be handled on the future site. The foundation stone for the production hall of around 52, 000 square metres will be laid in June. In future, the production of the gearless offshore wind energy turbines will take place in three manufacturing lines within three hall bays, the highest of which measures 30 metres top to bottom. Beginning in mid-2017, more than 100 turbines of the 7 Megawatt class (SWT-7.0) will be produced here annually.
In addition to the construction work, the contracts for the suppliers have to be finalised so the project can start on time. Some of these could potentially also settle on an additional exploitable area adjacent to the construction site – for example suppliers that handle the 30-ton grey cast iron rotor hubs. The decision as to which supplier will settle in Cuxhaven will be made in the coming months, says Granzow. Suppliers for the construction of the turbines’ plastic casing that will settle in vicinity of the site are also being sought.
The Cuxhaven citizens were also informed and had the opportunity to ask questions during an event in the evening in Altenbruch, a small village located next to the production site. More than 200 guests attended this information event. Questions regarding the plant’s construction and future job chances dominated this event as well.
Changes in management at Cuxport
Holger Meyer, man of the first hour at Cuxport, enters retirement
Cuxport reorganises the leadership of its operations at the start of the year: Holger Meyer (65), who was significantly involved in the successful setup of the Cuxport terminal, is entering retirement and will be replaced by Julian Brütt in the management committee.
Even before the founding of Cuxport in 1997, Meyer had been an employee at the state-owned “Seefischmarkt und Hafenumschlag Cuxhaven” corporation. “With Holger Meyer, an experienced and highly motivated port logistician is entering his well-deserved retirement. The company and his colleagues from the past two decades are much obliged to him for his excellent work, ” emphasised Michael de Reese, Managing Director at Cuxport.
Julian Brütt (38), who had previously been responsible for automotive logistics at Cuxport, takes over Meyers functions and will head the operative duties of the port logistics company together with Marc von Riegen, who had taken on this position alongside Holger Meyer back in 2010.
The operative duties in the automotive logistics sector will be accounted for by Sven-Oliver Rollewagen (37). He already has been significantly involved with this growing business at Cuxport since joining the company four and a half years ago. “With the promotion of Julian Brütt and Sven-Oliver Rollewagen, we are well-positioned for the future and can fill the gap left by Holger Meyer step by step with our own young forces, ” says de Reese.
Seaside resort Cuxhaven turns 200
This year, the city and the Nordseeheilbad Cuxhaven are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the seaside resort of Cuxhaven. For this occasion, Beatrice Lohman (chairman of the board at Nordseeheilbad Cuxhaven), Lord Mayor Dr Ulrich Getsch and Erwin Krewenka (Managing Director at Nordseeheilbad Cuxhaven) are in the midst of the planning for an official anniversary ceremony, which will be held on 24 June 2016 at the Schloss Ritzebüttel.
In 1816, the seaside resort Cuxhaven was founded by the Hamburgian Amtmann of Ritzbüttel, Amandus Augustus Abendroth, who by the way also delivered the first accurate map of the Port of Cuxhaven in 1818. Back in 1793, the Göttingen-based philosopher Georg Christoph Lichtenberg had already issued a recommendation for Cuxhaven as the most suitable place for a German seaside resort.
“The founding of the seaside resort Cuxhaven in 1816 was elemental for the development of our city. The huge amount of interest in this anniversary event is truly great for our city, ” says Dr Getsch. Beatrice Lohman adds: “Many Cuxhaveners have already signalled their willingness to get involved in the celebrations via their own contributions. I would be happy to see many citizens taking part in this event.”
That is why the Nordseeheilbad Cuxhaven is inviting all tourism experts, agents and interested parties to become involved in the planning for the event with the motto “2016 – 200 years seaside resort”. On 18 January 2016, a first meeting of all interested parties already took place and many contributions for events from June to October 2016 were collected. On 22 February, a second “ideas workshop” will be held in the Kursaal in Duhnen.
HWG introduces her members: Mibau Baustoffhandel GmbH
Company name: Mibau Baustoffhandel GmbH
Year founded: founded in Hamburg in 1978 as the Elbe-Weser-Handelskontor
Industry: construction materials
Locations: Central office in Cadenberge
Sales offices in Germany: Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg and Western Pomerania
Sales offices abroad: Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Poland
40 port locations in the distribution area
Portfolio: Production of mineral construction materials for the construction industry in Norway, ship transports and port transhipment, supplier for the asphalt and concrete industry, for road, rail and water construction projects, and also for offshore projects.
Interview with Jos van der Meer, Managing Director
Question 1 – How would you describe your company?
We are a trusted partner and supplier of the construction industry. Because of our high quality and our proximity to the market, we can supply to small customers as well as large projects. We offer expertise, customer-oriented logistics and technical solutions.
Question 2 – Why are you a member of the HWG?
The HWG represents the interests of the existing port-associated companies at the location Cuxhaven.
Question 3 – What are your personal wishes for your company?
I wish for the positive development of the location Cuxhaven as an offshore base and for the existing local companies to participate in this development. The Port of Cuxhaven is the offshore location of the Mibau group and should remain so in the future.
Further information about the company: www.mibau.de
This newsletter was sent to you by Hafenwirtschaftsgemeinschaft Cuxhaven e.V.
Issue 01/ 2016, 03.02.2016
Editors: Gwendolyn Dünner, Kevin Hohmann – Medienbüro am Reichstag GmbH
Photo copyrights: NPorts, Mareile Peters/UVC, Agentur für Wirtschaftsförderung Cuxhaven, Stadt Cuxhaven, Mibau Baustoffhandel GmbH
Chairman: Hans-Peter Zint
Register court: Amtsgericht (District Court) Cuxhaven – Register number: VR 496