Strengthening the region
At our locations, we generate a profit for the company and we strengthen economic power in the regions where we are operating. The value generated particularly includes wage and salary payments, but also taxes and concession fees. Investment projects and plant operation mean that substantial shares of these activities are also carried out as orders placed within the local community. We continue to work together with local communities to develop operating sites that are no longer required. Over the past ten years, work of this nature has created more than 3,000 new jobs through commercial and industrial business parks in the Rhineland industrial region.
Traditionally, RWE Power has been a major economic force in the local community. In 2012, orders worth more than €1 billion were awarded to companies in the Rhineland industrial area. In October 2012, RWE Power joined forces with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for North Rhine-Westphalia for the third time to implement the campaign for awarding contracts on a regional basis entitled ‘Revier im Fokus’ (Region in Focus). The objective is to enhance the contribution made to the local economy. If all safety and quality standards are complied with, local companies should have preference when awarding contracts.
The expansion of offshore wind power creates new stimuli in regions with weak economic conditions. RWE Innogy is investing some €10 million in the construction and operation of the North Sea East offshore wind farm in Helgoland. The company is also building 30 apartments to provide accommodation for service employees. Jobs are also being created at other sites, for example at Bremerhaven as a German base port, where 28 of our own employees start out on their duties and a further 78 employees from contractors are employed. There is also the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm off the Welsh coast which provides work for 38 of our employees and 103 workers employed by contractors.
Consequences of exiting from nuclear energy
The consequences of exiting from nuclear energy do not only have positive impact on the regional economy. The exit from nuclear power meant that the Biblis nuclear power station lost its authorisation to generate electric power in August 2011. Shutting down the power plant presents the operating team, which amounted to 635 full-time posts shortly after the resolutions on the energy transition were passed, and the local economy with some significant challenges. We are making attempts to find alternative positions in the Group for staff members who no longer have a function at this location, or we are developing proposals for them to leave the company with a social compensation package. However, this represents job losses within the region itself. The local economy is also losing out on orders and local councils will suffer a reduction in trade tax revenues. RWE Power wants to provide sustainable support for the Biblis community and its residents during the course of a long-term structural change. That’s why the company donates to the ‘Bürger Stiftung Biblis’ (Citizens’ Biblis Foundation) in 2012 funds amounting to €500,000.