Tesla’s now-operational production facility in Germany, known as Gigafactory Berlin, is facing a potential shutdown in production as the German government is reportedly contemplating an embargo on Russian gas in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Tesla recently gained approval to begin production and deliveries at the German plant located in Grünheide in February after many months of delays.
Tesla formally wins final environmental approval to open Gigafactory Berlin
However, sanctions against certain Russian industries by various countries could stop production at the German plant, according to Berliner-Kurier, a German media outlet. Brandenburg’s Green Parliamentary group leader Benjamin Raschke said if Germany decides to place a delivery stoppage on Russian gas, the Tesla factory “must be shut down,” as 60 percent of the plant’s energy requirements depend on gas, the report said.
“Should Putin turn off the gas tap or the gas stop come from the German side, then hospitals and schools will have high priority,” Raschke said. He added consumers and citizens would have “absolute protection,” while companies like Tesla, which operate large industrial projects, would be “the first to shut down and have to do without.”
If the gas embargo against Russia is not enforced, the report states the country could cut supplies overnight in response to the “temporary socialization of the Gazprom subsidiary.” Earlier this week, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the German subsidiary of Russian gas company Gazprom would be put under trusteeship with immediate effect, according to Politico. “The government is doing what is necessary to ensure security of supply in Germany — this includes not exposing energy infrastructures in Germany to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin,” Habeck said.
The company’s German subsidiary, known as Germania, was reportedly raided last week by EU antitrust officials after a probe was launched into rising gas prices.
Tesla would not be the only company to be affected by the embargo. A chemical plant in Schwarzheide and a cement plant in Rüdersdorf are two examples of the other large industrial companies that would suffer.
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