Geeste: Klasmann-Deilmann to build its own Academy
Millions to be invested in project at Groß Hesepe
By Hermann-Josef Mammes of the Meppener Tagespost newspaper, 20 October 2016
Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH aims to continue on its successful trajectory under the banner ‘Born in Emsland, now a global player’. A new head office is being constructed at the Groß Hesepe site, with an Academy and an experimental greenhouse.
On Wednesday, Managing Director Moritz Böcking – joined by the district’s CEO Reinhard Winter and Geeste’s Mayor Helmut Höke – held a ground-breaking ceremony (albeit a belated one, as work at the building site was already well underway). Asked by the Meppener Tagespost how the work was progressing, Böcking replied: “It’s very much on schedule, on course for completion by the autumn of 2017”. He revealed that, in terms of costs, a “substantial sum well into the millions” was involved.
Klasmann-Deilmann is the leading player in the international substrate industry, with subsidiaries and trade partners in more than 70 countries. In the 2015 financial year, the company generated sales of around EUR 180 million. The business was founded 103 years ago in the Emsland region. Now that peat extraction in the area is being increasingly scaled back, only 150 employees still remain in Groß Hesepe. “But our workforce elsewhere is around 1,000, about half of whom are in Lithuania and Latvia,” said Böcking, adding that there is also a desire for growth in China.
2,400 square metres of space
The new main building will be where the management is based – specifically, according to Project Leader Carsten Klemp, “50 strategic positions”. Around 70 employees of the service company will remain in the older building. As well as being the administrative headquarters, the two-storey building with a usable floor space of 2,400 m2 will house a new Academy. “This is where we aim to develop the products of the future,” Böcking commented. The building, with its many meeting rooms and ‘innovation rooms’, will be available to all of the Group’s employees. In the Academy, Böcking went on, an ideal environment would be created for learning “not only from each other at Klasmann Deilmann, but also jointly with our suppliers, customers and partners”. An exhibition concept is also planned that looks back over the company’s 103-year history and ahead to the future. “And, for the first time, Klasmann-Deilmann will have its own canteen,” he added. The building will be heated using a woodchip-fired system.
“The firm is also planning an ultramodern greenhouse, partly for trials of new products.” Böcking announced that Klasmann-Deilmann, as a specific policy, wants to be open to the public – with plans including a new visitors’ carpark.
A commendable plan
Reinhard Winter described this undertaking as “a commendable plan”. When Emsland-based companies flourish, the local authorities also benefit from tax revenues. With its new Technology Centre, Klasmann-Deilmann is in good company, alongside Emsland-based firms such as Rosen, Krone and the Meyer shipyard. In his address, Mayor Höke praised this “forward-looking decision”. Höke was also pleased that many skilled-trades businesses from Geeste, such as building contractor Kewe, will be executing this major project.
Mayor Helmut Höke, Building Contractor Hubert Kewe, Managing Director Moritz Böcking, District’s CEO Reinhard Winter, Project Leader Carsten Klemp