A spokeswoman said on Saturday that an unused groundwater supply in the Hangelsberg area should be explored and tapped to increase funding capacities for the supply of the Freienbrink industrial park – including Tesla. The “leap” in fresh water requirements and the amount of wastewater produced by the Tesla plant in the first stage of expansion meant that “almost all of the reserve capacities” had been used up. The “Handelsblatt” had previously reported.
Tesla estimates a maximum water consumption of 1.4 million cubic meters per year for the plant – at full capacity of 500,000 vehicles. The value was reduced by 30 percent through water-saving measures. This is the estimated maximum requirement under the most unfavorable conditions; in regular operation, consumption should be significantly lower. For the entire area that Tesla could expand over time, the group set a theoretical maximum of 3.6 million cubic meters water per year. The automaker plans to start production in July.
The environmental approval for the project by the state of Brandenburg is still pending. Tesla is already building with preliminary permits for individual construction steps. Environmentalists and local residents are warning that the supply of drinking water will be damaged and that a nearby nature reserve will be affected by the factory.
According to the ministry, the responsible water association Strausberg Erkner (WSE) has already signed a supply contract with Tesla for the water supply of the first expansion stage. There are also possible solutions for the supply of future expansion stages with water. The water supplier is supported financially by the state. Among other things, the commissioning of a new waterworks should secure the future supply. There are also plans to build an industrial sewage treatment plant that is suitable for treating wastewater in the entire Freienbrink industrial estate.
The Ministry of the Environment pointed out that Tesla could not yet provide any reliable benchmarks for the next stages of expansion of the car factory or the battery production that was being discussed. That prevents the Strausberg Erkner Water Association (WSE) from further planning. In order for further expansion stages to be approved, even stricter requirements for water-saving production techniques are required.