German Blender Hits Warehouse Roadblock

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German Blender Hits Warehouse Roadblock
An aerial view of Meguin's lubricant manufacturing plant in Saarlouis, Germany. Photo courtesy/Meguin

German lubricant blender Meguin GmbH & Co. said it plans to revise its concept for a modern central warehouse in Saarhafen’s Saarlouis-Dillingen port after a city council voted against the proposed project in May, citing environmental concerns.

According to local press reports, the Saarlouis city council unanimously rejected the proposed project in early May, expressing concerns that oil residues from the warehouse could possibly pollute the drinking water for Saarlouis residents. The council may offer the company an alternative location, reports indicated.

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“We regret the decision of the city council and cannot understand the reasoning,” Meguin Managing Director Günter Hiermaier said in a June 2 press release. “The Saarlouis business location is weakened by the resolution. We are ready for new discussions and a revision of the concept.”

According to the company, the 35,000 square meter central warehouse planned in Saarhafen represented an investment of around €45 million (U.S. $54.8 million) and would create 50 new jobs. Meguin said it had invested €25 million in recent years, including expansion of laboratories and of its existing tank farm to a capacity of around 18 million liters. Christian Texter, Meguin site manager, said that sealed containers of all sizes would be stored, picked up and dispatched for logistics at the warehouse, which would be located next to the company’s lubricant production plant. About 98% of the stored products would be in smaller canisters of 0.5 to 5 liters, the company said.

The company said new construction of a central warehouse was necessary due to the large growth of the group of companies – consisting of Meguin and German lubricant and aftermarket additive maker Liqui Moly Gmbh – which previously operated several small warehouses in cooperation with logistics companies. The current network requires enormous effort that is not affordable in the long run, Hiermaier asserted. The new warehouse would save a distance of almost 670,000 kilometers per year in transporting products, he indicated, saving 2,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually and reducing road traffic in the Saarlouis area.

The company claimed that the warehouse project fulfilled all legal requirements for water protection in the port. “We attach great importance to environmental protection,” assures Hiermaier. “That is why we have the construction and the entire operation regularly checked by experts. We do not yet know what will happen next. We urgently need the central warehouse. We hope to be able to win the city council for further cooperation and to realize the plans together.”

Meguin currently has 275 employees at its current headquarters.

According to its website, Meguin offers lubricants for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industry. The company has approximately 1,300 customers and sells its products in more than 40 countries.

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