The federal authorities’s unusual rejection of a turbine cope with China | EUROtoday

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DThe heated commerce dispute between Europe and China is already approaching its boiling level with the punitive tariffs on electrical automotive imports, and the German authorities is including gas to the hearth: The Federal Cabinet has prohibited the Augsburg-based mechanical engineering firm MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) from promoting its fuel turbine division to the Chinese investor GHGT. Reason: Unclear.

Beijing reacted with sharp protest: The Chinese authorities “opposes the politicization of normal trade cooperation, the overuse of the concept of national security and the artificial erection of trade barriers,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman advised AFP: Germany is discriminating in opposition to Chinese firms.

MAN ES has lengthy been in search of a purchaser for its enterprise, which remains to be partly below improvement, with small fuel generators with an output of between six and 16 megawatts, that are primarily supposed for industrial use or as working gear for pipeline operators. However, the sale to the subsidiary Guanghan Gas Turbine (GHGT) of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), a long-standing buyer of MAN ES, has now failed as a result of objections from the Federal Cabinet.

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Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) defined that investments in Germany are typically welcome. The restriction is that applied sciences which might be related to public security and order should be shielded from data leakage.

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This additionally applies to applied sciences which might be utilized in safety-critical areas. He couldn’t give any particulars. However, that was the explanation why the federal authorities issued the ban.

Sources near the corporate and unions stated that the German authorities was bothered by the truth that the buying firm can be a part of the Chinese arms trade. An argument that MAN Energy Solutions, nonetheless, doesn’t perceive.

Expert opinions specific doubts

This will not be a transparent case of arms management: “Among other things, we have had the responsible Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) confirm that neither the goods nor the technology are subject to export controls,” MAN ES stated in response to a question.

They additionally obtained experiences from “highly respected and specialized German professors”: “These confirmed the BAFA’s assessment and explained why the use of our turbines on military ships or even in fighter jets or drones does not make technological sense,” MAN ES continued: “These reports also denied the usability of the know-how in the development of military capabilities.”

For instance, Friedrich Wirz from the marine engineering working group on the Technical University of Hamburg judged the MAN ES turbine “that it appears completely unsuitable for use as a propulsion engine on marine vessels, since as a heavy stationary machine for natural gas operation it neither has the advantages of light aero derivatives nor can it compensate for the disadvantages compared to high-speed diesel engines.”

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According to the skilled’s evaluation, “even an adaptation of the specifics to the comparison technologies mentioned would only be possible with considerable design effort, which does not seem sensible.”

Konrad Vogeler from the Chair of Turbomachinery and Flight Propulsion on the Technical University of Dresden additionally estimates the danger of “encountering the acquired technology in military applications, which would not be possible without this purchase, as low”. A direct use of MAN-ES expertise “in the military sector, which GHGT does not already offer on its own, cannot be seen”.

MAN Energy Solutions itself states that the marketplace for generators of this measurement is “characterized by many players with similar products.” By promoting the turbine improvement, a few of which remains to be below improvement, clients in China wouldn’t acquire entry to a expertise “that they previously had no access to,” the corporate states: “MAN ES gas turbines are already being used in China.” It is a globally established and widespread expertise.

“With the medium-power turbine series, the buyer acquires know-how, but other German or Western manufacturers also have this knowledge and also offer the turbines in China,” defined MAN Energy Solutions. If the corporate's reservations are right, the gross sales ban imposed by the federal authorities would have a contestable foundation. However, MAN Energy Solutions introduced that it might settle for the federal authorities's choice.

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However, whereas a sale to the Chinese investor would have meant “a clear growth perspective” for the division on the German web site, the brand new improvement of fuel generators in Oberhausen is now being “winded down”.

The actual variety of workers affected is at the moment being decided. According to IG Metall, a double-digit variety of workers on the Oberhausen web site shall be affected by the closure of turbine improvement.

https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article252351954/Das-merkwuerdige-Nein-des-Bundes-zu-einem-Turbinen-Deal-mit-China.html