The head of the Federal Chancellery, Prof. Dr. Helge Braun, was able to take an "exciting insight" into the daily challenges of a medium-sized production company to Berlin last Friday. The Federal Minister for Special Tasks accepted the invitation of Bänninger Kunststoff-Produkte GmbH in Reiskirchen and discussed urgent future issues with the company's management. The "high visitor" was accompanied by the mayor of Giessen and party colleague, Peter Neidel. The company owners also welcomed the Managing Director of the Plastic Pipes Association (KRV), Markus Hartmann, as another guest.
"For our family-run company, the focus is on people", emphasised CEO Christoph Stamm and underlined: "We want to secure our economic strength and thus the jobs at our sites". As a current challenge, Stamm referred to the question of future energy supply. Currently, the company is striving for the use of a photovoltaic system, but criticises the payment of the EEG levy for self-generated, regenerative electricity. Braun considers the burden of the EEG levy for sustainable energy production to be wrong. The EU Commission's requirement leads to the weakening of national production companies and slows down the national energy turnaround.
The goal must be "to abolish the EEG levy completely in order to maintain the competitiveness of the German economy", the CDU politician emphasised. At the same time, Braun predicted that the importance of the sustainable use of hydrogen for energy supply would increase. "We have to get away from fossil fuels by 2045, meet the increasing demand for energy and at the same time maintain our global export share as well as the competitiveness of our companies" - urgent issues in which the interests of the German, export-strong SME sector also have to be taken into account.
In this context, KRV Managing Director Hartmann referred to the Carbon Leakage Ordinance, which is intended to protect companies producing in Germany from the burdens of national emissions trading. "The German plastic pipe industry, as an energy-intensive sector, is not included in the sectors to be relieved and thus, as a leading global industry, is directly disadvantaged compared to producers in other European countries and system competition.
" During the plant tour, the high-ranking politician showed great interest in the innovative strength and sustainability strategy of the company, which produces plastic pipes and fittings for pressure systems for transporting water and gas. Skilled employees answered the Federal Minister's questions about the company's training of skilled workers and referred to the inclusion of young adults in working life. They shed light on details of the manufacturing processes used and explained various possible applications for the plastic pipe systems. The company's innovative strength is its driving force, emphasised CEO Hendrik Ertl. Accordingly, the worldwide demand for long-lasting plastic pipe systems is increasing. Such investments in infrastructure are also imminent in the Giessen area, Mayor Neidel confirmed. Bänninger CEO Edgar Ertl referred to the long durability of the products manufactured in Reiskirchen: "Our pipes last up to a hundred years. We don't produce disposable plastic."