Tesla expects approval for battery cells plant in Berlin

The Ministry for Agriculture, Environment, and Climate Protection in the State of Brandenburg is expected to formally approve the construction plans

  
The gigafactory of electric carmaker Tesla Inc is seen in Shanghai, China December 2, 2019. Image for illustrative purposes.

The gigafactory of electric carmaker Tesla Inc is seen in Shanghai, China December 2, 2019. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Aly Song

BERLIN- Tesla expects to be able to press ahead with plans to build battery cells and battery packs at its new factory in Brandenburg, near Berlin, a spokesman for the U.S. carmaker said on Wednesday, after assurances it would not use too much water.

The Ministry for Agriculture, Environment, and Climate Protection in the State of Brandenburg is expected to formally approve the construction plans towards the end of the year once the relevant applications have been filed.

Environmentalists had expressed concerns about the plant but environmental authorities have received assurances on water usage according to a local planning consultation panel.

A Tesla spokesman said the carmaker welcomed the assessment of the local water association that construction could proceed, though some environmentalists were still opposed to the plan.

"Tesla is like a falling meteorite. Something is being pushed down on us from above," said Thomas Loeb, a member of the Ecological Democratic Party.

(Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Elaine Hardcastle) ((Edward.Taylor@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1187;))

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