Tesla Giga Berlin’s approval process won’t be affected by water supply lawsuit: Minister Steinbach

On Wednesday, January 12, Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach stated that the Frankfurt (Oder) administrative court’s judgment on the water supply lawsuit concerning Eggersdorf waterworks would not affect Tesla Giga Berlin’s approval process. 

Tesla Giga Berlin has not received a final approval from Brandenburg’s State Office of the Environment yet. There were concerns that a lawsuit filed by environmental associations in December 2021 might threaten Tesla Giga Berlin’s production plans by delaying the facility’s formal approval.

Environmental associations sued Brandenburg’s Environment Agency for approving increased water abstraction from Eggersdorf waterworks in 2020 without testing. The Frankfurt (Oder) Administrative court is presiding over the lawsuit. 

The Head of Strausberg-Erkner water association explained that the Frankfurt court could withdraw the right to extract water in Eggersdorf, affecting Tesla Giga Berlin’s water supply. 

The Strausberg-Erkner water association pumps most of its water from the Eggersdorf waterworks, located 13 km (8 miles) from Gigafactory Berlin.

However, on Wednesday, Minister Stenibach informed the state parliament’s economic committee that Tesla Giga Berlin’s water supply does not depend on the Frankfurt court’s decision on the Eggersdorf waterworks lawsuit. He noted that the preliminary decision of the judges revealed that the case did not affect Tesla’s water supply in Grünheide.

Eggersdorf waterworks extracts around 3.8 million cubic meters of water from the ground every year. Tesla needs about a third of that amount for Giga Berlin. In its 2020 application, Tesla forecasted that Giga Berlin would consume 3.3 million cubic meters of water per year. By June 2021, Tesla lowered its forecasted water consumption and revised its application, with the company estimating that Giga Berlin’s annual water consumption would be 1.423 million cubic meters.

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