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The Federal Minister of Economy, Sigmar Gabriel, visits MAN Diesel & Turbo

The Minister of Economy and Energy and the Management of Augsburg’s large diesel engine manufacturer discuss industrial on-site power generation and environmentally friendly marine propulsion

On 29 July 2014, the German Federal Minister of Economy and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, visited MAN Diesel & Turbo SE at its corporate headquarters in Augsburg. In meetings with Dr. Georg Pachta-Reyhofen, CEO of MAN SE, and Dr. Hans-O. Jeske, Chief Technology Officer of MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, Gabriel discussed the potential benefits and hurdles of industrial on-site power generation as well as the general requirements and technical possibilities of environmentally friendly shipping. Whilst visiting the production, Sigmar Gabriel was impressed by the state of the art diesel and gas engines of the traditional company: "MAN is a company with an impressive history, where technological expertise and precision work are of utmost importance," said Sigmar Gabriel. “This shows once more why the mechanical engineering ’Made in Germany', enjoys such a worldwide reputation."

As guests of MAN Diesel & Turbo, Augsburg Mayor Kurt Gribl (CSU), the Member of Parliament Ulrike Bahr (SPD), Hansjörg Durz (CSU) and Dr. Volker Ullrich (CSU) and the Augsburg IG Metall CEO Michael Leppek accompanied the visit of the Federal Minister.

The talks centered on the company's products for decentralized power production and the importance of industrial on-site power generation. "At MAN, we consider the decentralization of power generation as a key pillar of the energy transition. Examples of this are our gas engines which are used in combined heat-power plants. The industrial on-site heat-power generation is essential for reaching the German and European efficiency targets in energy," said Dr. Georg Pachta-Reyhofen, CEO of MAN SE. “The energy turnaround has entered its maturity phase. The major challenge is no longer in the development of renewable energies, but in the efficient integration of all required technologies into a complete system. It must be possible to efficiently use technologies that make an important system contribution. Therefore, the focus should continue to be placed on properties such as flexibility, storage capacity and heat utilization"

The meeting also discussed technologies for environmentally friendly shipping and the conversion of the maritime industry to fuel gas. "Our dual-fuel engines which can use both liquid and gaseous fuels play an important role in the reduction of emissions and are currently increasingly in demand", said Dr. Hans-O. Jeske, Chief Technology Officer of MAN Diesel & Turbo. "Thus, gas can establish itself as an environmentally friendly fuel, however, the construction of a reliable supply infrastructure at the ports must be guaranteed. Germany should launch a flagship project in close cooperation between politicians and maritime industry."

In the MAN training center, where currently more than 300 apprentices from MAN Diesel & Turbo, Renk and other partner companies are being trained in eleven industrial technology professions, Sigmar Gabriel spoke to the trainees about their experiences and plans for the future and stressed the importance of ensuring skilled labour. "MAN is leading by example in order to ensure a generation of skilled workers with high-quality and practical training," Sigmar Gabriel said. "It is important to provide young people with a perspective though exciting training whilst, at the same time, preparing young experts in mechanical engineering, which is a key sector of German industry."

MAN apprentices regularly achieve top marks in their final exams in national comparison. In September 2014, over 100 trainees will start their careers in the MAN training center.