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1696585500000 | Press Release

Daimler, EnBW, and Wörth am Rhein city establish joint venture for sustainable geothermal heat in Wörth

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  • The partners want to jointly investigate possibilities for the exploration, development, and extraction of environmentally friendly energy through geothermal heat at the Mercedes-Benz production site in Wörth.
  • Joint venture for sustainable heat generation as decisive contribution to decarbonization of the region.
  • The three project partners combine the largest local employer, an energy supplier with extensive expertise in geothermal energy, and a dynamic municipality that stands for public service.
  • The lighthouse project will also focus on climate-neutral energy generation using geothermal energy in the Upper Rhine Plain with scientific supervision.
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Wörth am Rhein – Daimler Truck, EnBW and the City of Wörth am Rhein founded the joint venture WärmeWerk Wörth GmbH following the positive decision by the town council in July this year. The joint venture is intended to investigate the possibilities of a climate-neutral energy supply for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth and the City of Wörth am Rhein. The aim is to determine the geothermal usability and, if positive, to build and operate a geothermal plant to generate heat at the Wörth site. The excess geothermal heat, however at least 10%, is to be used to supply existing municipal local heating networks in the City of Wörth am Rhein. There are currently no plans to generate electricity. The scientifically supervised project is also intended to provide new insights into the development of geothermal energy as an energy source.

The three partners bring together Daimler Truck, the largest employer in the southern Palatinate, EnBW, a leading energy company in Germany with many years of expertise in geothermal energy, and the City of Wörth am Rhein, a dynamic municipality with an innovative city administration that stands for public services. Stefan Ertle, asset manager for district heating in EnBW‘s generation division, and Thomas Neckenich, responsible for energy supply and green production at Daimler Truck’s Wörth site, were appointed as managing directors of WärmeWerk Wörth GmbH.

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Climate-neutral energy supply as an important contribution to decarbonization

Deep geothermal energy is of particular importance in the search for environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional energy generation. The geology of the Upper Rhine Plain, where the City of Wörth am Rhein is located, promises good conditions for the sustainable extraction of geothermal heat.

Geothermal energy can thus make an important contribution to the further decarbonization of the Wörth production site and the City of Wörth am Rhein. The project is a significant step by the three partners towards the consistent implementation of the German government’s climate strategy.

The aim of the joint venture is to explore the region for its suitability for the development of geothermal energy. After careful examination of the local and geological conditions in cooperation with independent consultants and recognized experts, a second step will be to determine the most suitable location for a geothermal well. The construction and commissioning of a geothermal plant on site is planned after drilling has been successfully completed and approval of the requested federal funding has been obtained.

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Three partners on equal footing and rooted in the region

Thomas Neckenich: “Heat generation through geothermal energy offers us the opportunity, as a production site, to use a virtually CO₂-free energy source in the direct vicinity for sustainable production. Our two partners bring with them the relevant expertise in geothermal heat and energy supply. For the general public and our employees, education and transparency over the entire course of the process is the top priority.”

Stefan Ertle: “We have been involved in the development and use of deep geothermal energy for around 20 years. The geological conditions for this are particularly good here in the Upper Rhine region. That’s why we’re all the more pleased with the plan to work with Daimler Truck and the City of Wörth to create an environmentally friendly heat supply for both the truck production site and the local people.”

Dr. Dennis Nitsche, mayor of the City of Wörth am Rhein: “Together with the largest employer in the City of Wörth, we are setting out on the road to a sustainable future. In the process, we are being accompanied by an experienced energy company and renowned scientific institutions. For the people in Wörth, an affordable, reliable and sustainable heat supply is of utmost interest. Equally important, however, is protection against seismic activity. The City of Wörth am Rhein, as a representative of interests for the common good and general public services, is therefore an important partner in this project.”

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Invitation to a citizen dialog

A key concern of the partners is to provide expert, comprehensive and transparent information with a wide range of forms of participation for citizens across all phases of the project. A central information platform on the Internet, face-to-face dialog with the general public, and information booths at central locations as well as at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks plant itself are planned. The people in the southern Palatinate are to be guided along the development path of the project by scientifically sound information and plenty of scope for the questions and concerns of local residents. A transparent and dialogue-oriented awareness-raising campaign on the topic of geothermal energy directed at the public and the surrounding municipalities at the earliest possible time is a central concern for all project partners.

The current plan is to select a suitable site in 2024/2025. This is to be followed by testing and development in 2025–2027. If the requested federal funding is granted, the geothermal heating plant could be built and connected to the heating network from 2027 onwards according to the current status, so that commissioning could take place in 2028.

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Environmentally friendly production to improve CO₂ footprint of the industrial site.

Dr. Andreas Bachhofer, Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth and Production Manager Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “The use of renewable energies for electricity and heat is an essential factor for green production. For electricity, we already rely on green power as well as our own PV systems. In addition, we are continuously reviewing which processes we can make more energy efficient. For example, our new paint shop will require temperatures that are not as high as our previous one. The plant is currently undergoing transformation.”

EnBW’s goal is to become completely climate-neutral as a whole company by 2035, at the latest, in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement. To achieve this, the company is relying both on the expansion of renewable energies and on the gradual phase-out of coal-fired power generation, which is to be achieved in Germany by 2038 under the Coal Phase-out Act. The company intends to completely phase out coal-fired power generation as early as 2028, provided this is allowed by the framework conditions set by the German Federal Government. In addition to generating electricity from renewable energies, EnBW is also pursuing a comprehensive strategy to decarbonize its heat supply.

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Climate-neutral heat supply to reduce CO₂ footprint of City of Wörth

In its Climate Package I, the City of Wörth am Rhein has resolved to become climate-neutral by 2030. The decarbonization of the heat supply makes an essential contribution to this objective. This requires expanding the existing local heating network. The city council has already taken a decision on this expansion and thus set the decisive course for the future.

Forward-looking statements

This document contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current views about future events. The words “aim”, “ambition”, “anticipate,” “assume,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” ”can,” “could,” “plan,” “project,” “should” and similar expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to many risks and uncertainties, including an adverse development of global economic conditions, in particular a decline of demand in our most important markets; a deterioration of our refinancing possibilities on the credit and financial markets; events of force majeure including natural disasters, pandemics, acts of terrorism, political unrest, armed conflicts, industrial accidents and their effects on our sales, purchasing, production or financial services activities; changes in currency exchange rates, customs and foreign trade provisions; a shift in consumer preferences; a possible lack of acceptance of our products or services which limits our ability to achieve prices and adequately utilise our production capacities; price increases for fuel or raw materials; disruption of production due to shortages of materials, labour strikes or supplier insolvencies; a decline in resale prices of used vehicles; the effective implementation of cost-reduction and efficiency-optimisation measures; the business outlook for companies in which we hold a significant equity interest; the successful implementation of strategic cooperations and joint ventures; changes in laws, regulations and government policies, particularly those relating to vehicle emissions, fuel economy and safety; the resolution of pending government investigations or of investigations requested by governments and the conclusion of pending or threatened future legal proceedings; and other risks and uncertainties, some of which are described under the heading “Risk and Opportunity Report” in the current/ in this Annual Report or in the current Interim Report. If any of these risks and uncertainties materializes, or if the assumptions underlying any of our forward-looking statements prove to be incorrect, the actual results may be materially different from those we express or imply by such statements. We do not intend or assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements since they are based solely on the circumstances at the date of publication.

Daimler Truck at a glance

Daimler Truck Holding AG ("Daimler Truck") is one of the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturers, with over 40 main locations and more than 100,000 employees around the globe. The founders of Daimler Truck have invented the modern transportation industry with their trucks and buses a good 125 years ago. Unchanged to this day, the company's aspirations are dedicated to one purpose: Daimler Truck works for all who keep the world moving. Its customers enable people to be mobile and get goods to their destinations reliably, on time, and safely. Daimler Truck provides the technologies, products, and services for them to do so. This also applies to the transformation to CO₂-neutral driving. The company is striving to make sustainable transport a success, with profound technological knowledge and a clear view of its customers' needs. Daimler Truck's business activities are structured in five reporting segments: Trucks North America (TN) with the truck brands Freightliner and Western Star and the school bus brand Thomas Built Buses. Trucks Asia (TA) with the FUSO, BharatBenz and RIZON commercial vehicle brands. Mercedes-Benz (MB) with the truck brand of the same name. Daimler Buses (DB) with the Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus brands. Daimler Truck's new Financial Services business (DTFS) constitutes the fifth segment, the product range in the truck segments includes light, medium and heavy trucks for long-distance, distribution and construction traffic and special-purpose vehicles used mainly in the municipal and vocational sector. The product range of the bus segment includes city buses, school buses and intercity buses, coaches and bus chassis. In addition to the sale of new and used commercial vehicles, the company also offers aftersales services and connectivity solutions.

About EnBW

With a workforce of some 27,000 employees, EnBW is one of the largest energy supply companies in Germany and Europe. It supplies electricity, gas and water together with infrastructure and energy-related products and services to around 5.5 million customers. In the company’s transformation from a traditional energy provider to a sustainable infrastructure group, the expansion of renewable energy sources and of the distribution and transportation grids for electricity and gas are cornerstones of EnBW’s growth strategy and the focus of its investment spending. Between 2023, and 2025, EnBW plans gross investment totaling €14 billion, largely in accelerating the implementation of the energy transition. EnBW aims for renewables to account for over half of its generation portfolio by as early as the end of 2025 and to phase out coal by the end of 2028. These are key milestones on the way to the company being carbon-neutral by 2035. www.enbw.com

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