A truly exceptional year for Cuxhaven
The 2015 annual review by Lord Mayor Dr Ulrich Getsch
Looking back on 2015, I can say without exaggeration that this year was a truly exceptional one for the town of Cuxhaven – a year with many prominent events that will bring on continuous and positive changes for the town. Numerous projects, to which many players contributed over several years, were successfully implemented in 2015, others were started. This is true for the touristic sector as well as Cuxhaven’s urban and economic developments.
Settlement of Siemens Wind Power
Siemens AG’s decision of early August 2015 to build a manufacturing facility for multi-megawatt offshore wind turbines in Cuxhaven and thereby create more than 1,000 jobs will make the offshore base Cuxhaven the leading North German location for the energy turnaround.
Our goal to develop Cuxhaven and the region into the North German centre for the offshore wind energy supply chain, which we have pursued for more than ten years, has finally been achieved with the settlement of the worldwide market leader for offshore wind turbines.
Previously, Siemens had screened numerous ports across Europe regarding their suitability as a production and installation location during an intensive selection procedure in 2008. The offshore capabilities of the ports were major selection criteria to enable the planned transhipment of big wind turbines and their installation at sea.
Production, assembly and the subsequent service and maintenance of offshore wind farms and converter platforms offer a very sophisticated value-added chain over multiple decades. And Cuxhaven with its maritime competence cluster is also in prime position to serve the diverse logistic challenges associated with the offshore wind industry.
Cuxhaven’s goal is to integrate the resident companies in the value-added chain of Siemens Wind Power’s turbine production as well as settling new suppliers. Beyond the direct positive effects of the high number of new jobs and investments, the project is expected to result in a revival of the real estate market, the retail industry and a stabilisation of the population development.
Reinstallation of the Elbe ferry connection Cuxhaven-Brunsbuettel
The reinstallation of the Elbe ferry connection Cuxhaven-Brunsbuettel towards the end of August was able to fulfil the long-awaited dream of the residents of both Cuxhaven and Brunsbuettel. Since then, the Cuxhaven-based Elb-Link GmbH has been connecting the federal states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein every two hours. The new ferry ships are able to carry trucks, buses and passenger cars, can significantly relieve the traffic situation surrounding Hamburg and are an interesting seasonal highlight for the tourism regions of Cuxhaven/Cuxland and Dithmarschen.
The UNESCO world heritage Wadden Sea visitors centre
In October, the new UNESCO world heritage Wadden Sea visitors centre Cuxhaven was officially opened. Here, visitors can find informative exhibitions and immerse themselves in the one-of-a-kind natural environment of the Wadden Sea. Thanks to 90 percent external funding, the town of Cuxhaven managed to implement this lighthouse project despite a shortage of communal funds. The extensive permanent exhibition about the Wadden Sea offers adults and children useful information about the world heritage as well as the neighbouring nature reserve Kuestenheide. To personally enjoy an open air experience of the unique nature of the Wadden Sea, the visitors centre also offers guided tours straight into the different habitats right on the doorstep.
Thalasso centre ahoi! In Cuxhaven
With the opening of the newly renovated Thalasso centre, the new beach promenade with barrier-free beach access was also completed. A four kilometre-long strolling promenade has been created, including coloured asphalt and generous beach access areas. From the “Kugelbake”, Cuxhaven’s wooden navigational aid, the path leads west up to the beach resort of Duhnen. Located there, directly on the beach, the light-flooded Thalasso bathhouse offers visitors various therapies and other treatments supported by the healing power of the sea.
LIPROMAR GmbH starts production line for fish proteins in food quality
LIPROMAR GmbH, a complete subsidiary of Bioceval, opened the gates of its new production plant in Cuxhaven after seven months of construction in 2015, and started its new production line for fish proteins in food quality.
Only 50 percent of a fish caught in the open sea or from aquaculture reaches the consumer’s plate. For salmon or tuna, it is only the filets. But by-products like heads, trimmings and backbones are, because of their ingredients, just as precious for the food industry and should be used instead of landing in the bin. So far, these have only been used to extract single-origin fish oils for human consumption, but now, in the new production line, fish proteins are collected as well. These functional proteins act as natural aromas or emulsifying agents to permanently bind water and fat.
Outlook for 2016
Strengthened by this extraordinarily successful 2015, we look forward to the new year with confidence. The successful implementation of the Siemens project and the settling of further companies will be the priority. The prospering seaport of Cuxhaven will also receive further impulses from this development. The state government of Lower Saxony and NPorts are accordingly working on the extension of the capacities at the Europakai (berth n° 4) as well as on the completion of the offshore terminal II.