Industry will facilitate the application for Renove aid

Unai MezcuaUnai Mezcua

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The Ministry of Industry seeks ways to “Make flexible” and “facilitate” that the number of credit reserve operations of the Renove 2020 Program increases. As of yesterday, only slightly more than 8% of the funds for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles had been requested, from a program that was announced in June and whose application was opened in mid-October. Unlike what happened with previous park renewal programs, in Renove 2020 it is the user who must make the request electronically. On other occasions, the procedure was carried out by the concessionaire.

In an interview with ABC Empresa that will be published this Sunday, the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs, Raül

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France wants to win back industrial jobs

Closed manufacturer in Donges near Saint-Nazaire

No other EU country has relocated industrial jobs abroad on such a large scale as France.

(Photo: AFP)

Paris Thick black smoke from burning car tires and hundreds of unionists in red vests greet Emmanuel Macron. Shortly before the second presidential election, he rushed to Amiens to hold discussions with workers at a Whirlpool plant. 650 livelihoods are at stake because the group no longer wants to have clothes dryers manufactured in France, but in Poland. After heated arguments, the candidate finds it difficult to get his message across: “I don’t promise you that I can save your jobs, but I will fight to ensure that your children get a better education.”

Eleven days later, Emmanuel Macron was elected president. The vocational training reform is one of the most important changes it has achieved. That didn’t help the Whirlpool employees: 86 people are still working there after two takeovers. The prefecture announced a few days ago that there is a risk of permanent closure.

The Amiens plant would be another stop in a long ordeal for industries that have gone bankrupt or turned their backs on France over the past 40 years. But without strong industry – as the corona crisis shows in particular – a country is not resilient. They are less able to defend their health systems and often simply lack the resources to fight against external and internal shocks.

“France is among the major industrialized countries that has suffered the greatest deindustrialization in the past few decades,” France Stratégie, the prime minister’s think tank, states in an analysis of several hundred pages. Since 1980 the industrial sectors have lost half of their employees and 2.2 million jobs have been lost.

In 2018 and 2019 industrial employment rose again for the first time. “But the Covid crisis fundamentally calls this trend into question,” said the economists of the report. The share of industry in gross value added in France is 13.5 percent. In Germany it is 24.3 percent, the EU average almost 20 percent.

France has become the “European champion in delocalization” over the years, is the second important finding of France Stratégie. No other EU country has shifted industrial jobs abroad on such a large scale in order to react to disadvantageous cost structures. While Germany exported goods, France exported entire branches of industry.

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A shrinking industry has negative economic, social and political consequences. In industry, productivity is growing faster on average than in other sectors. In France, industry accounts for more than two thirds of private spending on research and development. As their weight decreases, their growth and thus their ability to generate income decrease.

A chronic trade deficit is building up. The transferred income from investments abroad only compensates for this to a limited extent. And they encourage an uneven distribution of income, because they primarily benefit the wealthy. Ultimately, entire formerly flourishing regions are deserted, whose population feels disadvantaged and votes right-wing populists in protest.

Germany exports goods, France industries

Nicolas Sarkozy, and after him François Hollande, recognized the problem. “I want to secure industrial employment in the long term,” said Sarkozy in 2010. The conservative president issued a “large national bond”, of which 6.5 billion euros should benefit industry. For many French, however, deindustrialization remained a statistical phenomenon or even an expression of modernity for a long time: the country was changing into a service economy faster than Germany, it was said.

But then Corona came. With the pandemic, the carelessness is gone. Since the spring, the French have been disturbed by the fact that one of the largest economies in the world cannot produce enough ventilators, that the most important drugs have to be imported from China and that there is not even the ability to produce sufficient quantities of the reagents for corona tests.

Macron reacted immediately: “The re-localization of production is the most important lever to secure our sovereignty,” he said in June when visiting a factory of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi. France must be able to produce strategic goods domestically or in Europe again. He promised 15 billion euros in order to achieve the return of the outsourced jobs and skills.

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Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire and State Secretary Agnès Pannier-Runacher have now honored 31 companies that they consider to be exemplary. 680 million euros in investments would be mobilized, 150 million euros of which from the state. 4000 jobs would be secured, “1800 new ones should be created”, says Pannier-Runacher. How many of them return from abroad, their spokesman did not want to say when asked.

France Industrie emphasizes two crucial weaknesses: Because of high costs, the competitiveness of the industry has been destroyed for decades. Not through excessive wage increases, but through a toxic cocktail of high, income-independent taxes and very high social security contributions.

Only medium quality level

The second weakness: Instead of switching to products that are of higher quality and contain more technology, the industry has remained on average at a medium quality level and has sought salvation in the relocation of jobs to low-wage countries. Patrick Artus, chief economist at the Natixis investment bank, likes to sum this up in the following sentence: “France produces goods at Spanish technology level, but at German prices.”

Will France remain in search of lost industry? Hollande introduced tax incentives for research and the reduction of labor costs. Macron has made other important corrections, as the upward trend in industrial employment in 2018 and 2019 shows. One can only hope that he will catch up with them after the Covid crisis.

More: Read here what the new corona restrictions mean for the economy in Germany

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The cement industry wants to become climate neutral

Düsseldorf It is the most important building material in the world and almost no new building can do without it. While the world is discussing climate-damaging flying, dirty coal-fired power plants or dirty diesel engines, the secret climate killer is hardly noticeable in everyday life: concrete.

More precisely, it is about cement clinker, the most important component of the popular building material. Globally, over 4.6 billion tons of cement are used every year. However, 2.8 billion tons of CO2 are produced during its production. That is almost eight percent of global emissions and thus more than air traffic and data centers together emit. And given the increasing demand in emerging markets like India, Asia and Africa, this value is likely to increase even further in the next few years.

In Germany too, a construction industry without concrete would of course be unthinkable. In this country, 34 million tons were installed in 2019 – and 20 million tons of CO2 were emitted.

“We want to and must now show that we can also become climate neutral. But the path is definitely not easy, ”says Christian Knell, President of the German Cement Industry (VDZ) and Germany boss of one of the largest building materials groups in Europe, Heidelberg-Cement, in an interview with Handelsblatt.

On 50 pages, the German cement industry describes how it intends to reduce its CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. “We have to build in a way that conserves resources, completely abandons fossil fuels and, above all, uses less clinker,” explains Knell.

Over the next few decades, the proportion of climate-damaging cement clinker is to be reduced from 71 percent today to around 50 percent. And that would mean a lot.

Cement is the glue in concrete, the binder that holds sand, water and gravel together. To make it, you need cement clinker, which is made from limestone, sand and clay that is burned at over 1,400 degrees. However, it is precisely in this process that a lot of climate-damaging CO2 is generated.

On the one hand, by burning fossil raw materials, which heat the rotary kiln to more than 1400 degrees. 70 percent are already being replaced by waste such as animal meal, sewage sludge or municipal waste or old tires and old oil, which can be used for at least a second time. Even today, 30 percent of the energy comes from hard coal and lignite. By 2050, this proportion should also be reduced to zero through the use of green hydrogen. But these emissions only make up a third of the CO2 emitted.

The far greater part is due to the cement itself. During the process, limestone releases around 600 kilograms of CO2 per ton of cement produced.

“The cement industry has a basic problem compared to other processing sectors such as steel or chemicals. We have a rough idea of ​​how we can become climate neutral. But here it is the substance itself that causes the greatest emissions, ”explains Jürgen Sütter, resource expert at the environmental research institute Öko-Institut. The problem: So far there is no real alternative to concrete.

Although research has been going on for a long time into substitutes such as carbon concrete, which could reduce the use of materials by half, the tests are only just beginning.

Wood and clay are also increasingly used in building construction. Experts doubt that they will completely replace climate-damaging concrete in the next few years.

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As of now, Sutter is assuming three options: The industry must try to use less cement worldwide, further reduce the proportion of cement clinker and “cut off CO2 and either process it further or store it”.

This is exactly what the cement industry has high hopes for. The capture and processing or storage of CO2, or CCUS (Carbon Capture Usage and Storage) for short, is a tricky topic in Germany.

The underground storage of CO2, for example in possible storage sites in the North Sea, is particularly controversial. Environmentalists speak of a “fig leaf”, an excuse used by CO2-intensive industries not to become more environmentally friendly. In the eyes of the cement industry, however, future technology is a core element on the way to climate neutrality.

“It doesn’t work without CCU and CCS. We depend on these measures, ”confirms VDZ Managing Director Martin Schneider. Without the storage and recycling of carbon dioxide, emissions could only be reduced by 36 percent by 2050.

Controversial technology

With the widespread use of CCUS technologies, on the other hand, one could save more than 10 million tons of CO2 in the next decades. “We have to come to a basic political and social consensus on this topic – it will not work without this transformation,” warns the physicist.

The United Nations Climate Council assumes that the climate targets agreed in Paris can no longer be achieved without CCS. The Federal Environment Agency also declared two years ago that it was disputed “whether global climate protection goals can be achieved internationally in the long term without CCS”.

In Germany, however, there are massive protests against planned CCS test systems. Critics of the technology feared an extension of the service life of coal-fired power plants, since the CO2 would be captured. With the decision to phase out coal, this argument no longer applies. What remains is the fear that the stored CO2 could eventually escape and harm the environment.

“Our priorities, however, are clearly on the recycling of CO2,” explains Schneider. The separated carbon dioxide could be used, for example, as a basic product for the chemical industry, for the production of synthetic fuels or in the building materials industry itself.

There is little to be said against this from an environmental point of view, but a completely new infrastructure would have to be found. “It’s not like hydrogen, which with a few innovations can be fed into the existing gas network. This is very, very time-consuming and cannot be realized in terms of costs, ”warns building materials expert Peter Stemmermann from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Carbon

The light metal is best known for its versatile properties. A yarn consists of up to 50,000 individual fibers.

(Photo: VDZ)

Because the almost 30 cement plants are spread across Germany, a completely new pipeline network would have to be built for CO2 transport. “That is far too tedious, time-consuming and expensive,” says Stemmermann.

The cement industry holds against it. “A CO2 pipeline cannot be ruled out in the long term, after all it has to get from A to B. And we are not the only ones who depend on such an infrastructure,” emphasizes Schneider. After all, one speaks of the “greatest transformation in the history of industry”.

The cement industry is now starting its first pilot project in southern Germany. In the tranquil town of Mergelstetten, a consortium of several companies wants to build a system that will capture the CO2 that occurs during production with significantly less energy than before and then convert it into e-fuels, i.e. synthetic fuels such as kerosene for air traffic.

“The cement industry has been researching CO2 capture for 13 years. We could implement this technologically in ten to 15 years, but we have to start the socio-political discussion now, ”demands VDZ managing director Schneider.

Nevertheless, experts emphasize that there are also other levers on the way to decarbonisation for the cement industry.

Geringe Recycling-Quote

For years it has been criticized that the recycling rate in the industry is far too low. “So far there is no real circular economy in the construction industry. When a house is demolished, much of the ballast is reused, but not to make new concrete, ”explains Stemmermann. So far, most of it has gone into asphalt production and road construction.

Some of the high-quality building materials even end up in the hazardous waste dump – around three billion tons per year in the EU alone.

“We are working on solutions to be able to completely recycle the cement as well,” admits Schneider. The first pilot projects are already in preparation.

“There is not just one lever or two, the process is far too complex for that,” emphasizes Heidelberg Cement Manager Knell. “But we want to start now.”

CCUS, non-fossil fuels, clinker alternatives, better recycling and recarbonation, i.e. the storage of CO2 in finished concrete itself – the measures planned by the industry are numerous. Now, however, it depends on the implementation.
“The subject could have been approached earlier, but it only really hurts due to the cost pressure of CO2 certificates and other impending regulations,” says expert Stemmermann.

But the industry is now working hard for that.

More: Pioneers, pioneers and imitators: Why the climate economy is finally booming

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Asturian industry focuses its sights on the succulent business of offshore wind

Transport of a piece of Asturfeito for a wind farm.


The one that has put its head the most in this new market is Windar Renovables, a subsidiary of the Daniel Alonso Group and specialized in the manufacture of parts for wind turbines, which aims for Spain to be able to host a marine wind farm (“offshore”). The Asturian company, in alliance with Navantia, was awarded a contract for the construction of 62 platforms for these marine generators that Iberdrola is building in Great Britain. Their efforts have also dragged other small Asturian companies. One of them is the technological PixelHub, which is participating in a project, together with Windar, to facilitate the revision and repair of these wind towers through augmented reality. Susana Pascual, founder of the technology company, points out: “We saw a need in this sector, to carry out repairs in real time and remotely.” From an office, an operator guides another who is in the tower on the steps that must be followed to carry out the pertinent repairs. All through a program designed by the Asturian company and using a tablet to help. There is another technology company that is making its first steps in this fledgling market.

“Wind energy is a sector that requires you to be very efficient: it is under development”

Ricardo Rodríguez – Asturfeito


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“Through augmented reality we can control the repairs in these towers”

Susana Pascual – PixelHub


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“We have already made four boats for these platforms and we are in contests to choose more”

Álvaro Platero – Astilleros Gondán


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Although the weight is carried by industrial companies. Another of those that has seen the market has been Asturfeito, which a few months ago launched a factory, with more than 5,000 square meters and 60 jobs, to serve this market to which it supplies parts. “It is a sector that requires you to be very efficient and that is growing,” says the company’s CEO, Ricardo Rodríguez Ojeda. They have already worked for offshore wind energy platforms located in Europe, the US or even China. ArcelorMittal also wants to put its head in this market. It is already manufacturing sheet metal in Gijón twice as heavy as normal and whose thickness means that less welds are needed in the ring of the towers that support the wind turbines.

The companies that operate these towers also need boats for technicians to reach them. They are, explains Álvaro Platero, from Astilleros Gondán, special vessels that require additional stability. His company has already delivered two of these boats, is building another two and is entering competitions to make more. Platero assures that many oil companies have also seen a gap in that market and are drawing on experience to take positions.

To verify the growth of this market in the regional industry, the Principality points out that a few months ago, before the pandemic, a business trip had been organized to a fair on offshore wind energy in Denmark in which about fifteen Asturian companies participated. In addition to those already mentioned, others such as Oxiplant, Mecainsa, Proinmec, Hierros Marcelino Franco, Bezzier, Ingoal, Seerstems, Ingeniacity and Soar appeared on the list. The Minister of Industry, Enrique Fernández, highlighted that “the strategic position of the ports of Gijón and Avilés, as ideal platforms to host manufacturing, assembly and supply operations of components and equipment, and the significant presence in Asturias of metal companies, energy and naval make up an industrial fabric with experience and material capacities to provide solutions in the supply chain of marine energies worldwide ”.

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Zurich negotiates the purchase of MetLife for 3,370 million | Companies

The Zurich insurance company is in advanced negotiations to acquire MetLife for 4,000 million dollars (3,370 million euros), according to sources close to the operation.

With the agreement, which would be closed through its Farmers Group subsidiary, the company seeks to expand its business as the industry deals with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has generated several claims for business interruptions and event cancellations.

It would also allow MetLife to exit a market in which it faces other companies such as State Farm, Geico and Progressive Insurance.

The bulk of the American company’s business is based on auto insurance, an area in which fewer claims are taking place due to mobility limitations due to Covid-19. The deal could be announced in early December, according to the same sources. MetLife’s adjusted earnings in the US fell 68% in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2019, to $ 18 million (€ 15 million).

According to the firm itself, this decline was due to the “catastrophic losses” caused by the storms in the North American country. For its part, the Swiss insurance group recorded in the first six months of this year a net profit of 1,181 million dollars (1,000 million euros), which represents a 42% drop compared to the gains achieved in the same period from the previous year. Revenues sank 43% between January and June, to 22,257 million dollars (18,838 million euros), due to the result of the investment area

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Iberdrola and Ingeteam create a company that will manufacture equipment for the hydrogen industry

Iberdrola and Ingeteam have reached an agreement to establish a new company, dedicated to the manufacture of electrolyzers. It is the most critical equipment in the hydrogen production industry and that, it is suspected, will have an exponential development in the coming years. The new company, already baptized as Iberlyzer, will invest 100 million euros in the project and will generate 150 direct jobs. At the moment it has not been revealed where the factory will be installed, although it is expected to be in the Basque Country. The operation is complemented by an agreement that Iberdrola has signed with the Norwegian company Nel, which has technology in the design and construction of electrolyzers.

The basic hydrogen production technology is very old, dating from the beginning of the 19th century, but until now it has come up against the high costs that it involved and therefore the impossibility of making it a competitive option. However, some critical elements of the electrolysis process – the way to obtain hydrogen by immersing two electrodes in water – have begun to evolve and the Iberdrola and Ingeteam project aims to delve into its technological development. The production of hydrogen from renewable electricity has already become one of the energy options for the future, since this component is basic in the production of fertilizers and can also be used to obtain synthetic fuels or even for direct use in so-called ‘fuel cells’ for automotive.

Although there is no factory yet, there are already customers and even the delivery of the first team should take place next year. And this because the new company will collaborate in the construction of the necessary equipment to equip the hydrogen production plants that Iberdrola has already committed to the Fertiberia company and whose first installation will be carried out in Puertollano for the production of ammonia.

According to the experts, in the production of hydrogen, 70% of the costs are linked to the electricity consumption required in the process, 20% to the necessary investments in equipment and 5% to operating expenses. The first of these components, the cost of electricity, has its own green dynamics with the increase in renewable energy sources and the progressive increase in their efficiency. The latest auctions of wind power parks in Spain have been resolved with the commitment not to grant subsidies to the promoter companies, precisely due to the technological improvement achieved by the wind generators. At present 80 million tons of hydrogen are produced annually in the world for various applications, causing the emission of 830 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The production of green hydrogen through renewable energies would reduce these emissions.

Iberdrola and Ingeteam want to influence the second aspect, that of equipment. There the electrolyzer is key, the tank in which the chemical process induced by electricity takes place and where hydrogen is released and collected. Experts consider that there is still much to improve in the technology of these equipment to obtain more hydrogen for each unit of electricity applied. Along these lines, one of the avenues of work, and which is now being started by these two Basque companies, is the construction of large-scale electrolysers since those that the industry has manufactured to date are small.

GONZALO DE LAS HERAS

The project has a markup parallelism with what has happened around wind power generation and also the role played by Iberdrola in this field. Thus, the commitment of the electricity company in this field must be considered in the same way that it anticipated the development of the wind industry several decades ago with your shareholding in Gamesa, company of which it became the partner of reference. Its participation in the capital of that firm and also its role as a client who bought the equipment – a scheme that will now be repeated in the new company – allowed to accelerate the technological development of wind turbines and create an entire industrial chain in the Basque Country.

Hydrogen is described as ‘green’ when produced apart from renewable electricity -Eolian or solar- and is considered to be one of the key raw materials in future energy development. The use of this production system from renewables can also eliminate many tons of Co2 that are currently discharged into the atmosphere through the production of hydrogen from the combustion of hydrocarbons.

«The initiative – indicated the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán – will allow accelerate the production of green hydrogen in Spain, creating a new industry with high growth potential, such as the manufacture of electrolyzers. This will reduce energy dependence and the consumption of fossil fuels and will promote the economic and social revitalization of the country, “he explained.

The largest electrolyzers in Europe

The first electrolyzer to be manufactured by Iberlyzer will have a power of 20 megawatts and will be the largest manufactured in Europe to date. Currently the largest in operation is in Fukushima, with a power of 10 megawatts, very close to the nuclear power plant where the accident occurred in 2011. The objective of the promoters of this initiative is to progressively increase the power of the equipment that they will manufacture, although this will require a long period of research and development. «The initiative – indicated the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán – will allow accelerating the production of green hydrogen in Spain, creating a new industry with high growth potential, such as is the manufacture of electrolyzers. This will reduce energy dependence and the consumption of fossil fuels and promote the economic and social revitalization of the country, “he explained this Wednesday after announcing the creation of the new company.

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Börse Express – ANALYSIS FLASH: Jefferies cancels Vonovia on ‘Buy’

The analysis company Jefferies has Vonovia
upgraded from “Hold” to “Buy” and raised the target price from 60 to 66 euros. The real estate companies have so far proven to be very robust in the Corona crisis and recorded an increase in value, wrote analyst Thomas Rothäusler in an industry study available on Thursday after the latest interim reports. At Vonovia, he sees the recent setback as a good buying opportunity./ag/bek

Publication of the original study: November 18, 2020 / 15:53 ​​/ ET

First distribution of the original study: November 18, 2020 / 7:00 p.m. / ET

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This is the monstrous Testa factory: it will make millions of cars

This new challenge for the company involves starting production in July 2021, and for this it must comply with a tight construction program

Elon Musk is attaching great importance to Tesla Gigafábrica in Germany. It’s about the Gigafactory 4, a company magafactory located in Berlin-Brandenburg.

With the announcement made last year of this undertaking, and with a series of conflicts in the middle with environmental organizations alerted to plans to cut down thousands of trees, the project represents a very ambitious idea. With this initiative, It seeks to install a giant to produce up to two million electric vehicles by year.

This new challenge for the company means starting production in July 2021, and for this it must comply with a tight construction program that allows the plant to start up on time.

The importance is so great that the same director of Tesla Motors announced via his Twitter account earlier this month that he planned to personally interview potential candidates for the vacant positions.

Environmental conflicts

The property of this mega-factory is located in a 300-hectare pine plantation. The problem is that more than half of it is needed to cut down the auto plant. That area was designated as industrial area but only small companies arrived and that is why the installation of this company is highly anticipated by the surroundings.

This felling of trees has been from the beginning one of the most controversial issues of this project, despite the fact that the brand assured that it will reforest an area close to three times the size compared to the space taken.

The factory is expected to be ready by the middle of next year

The factory is expected to be ready by the middle of next year

In addition, its production will be powered by solar panels that will be on the roofs and the materials will be transferred by its fully electric truck, the Semi.

It will be a key facility for Tesla as not only the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y will be manufactured. In addition, the Tesla Model Y that will be produced for Europe at this plant will introduce some new technologies, including its 4680 battery cells announced on Battery Day this year.

The fourth link

It is the fourth link in a series started with the Gigafactory 1 of lithium ion batteries, followed by G2 of solar panels (both in the US) and continued with the G3, which produces the Tesla Model in Shanghai.

 The Model Y will be one of the vehicles to be built at the Gigafactory

The Model Y will be one of the vehicles to be built at the Gigafactory

Although the Green League warned that it will carefully observe each step to verify that environmental requirements are met, the work continues to advance. And despite the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, cranes, trucks and semi-trailers are moving that seek to shape this colossus that will produce between 500 thousand and up to two million vehicles per year.

In the first stage of expansion, up to 3,000 jobs will be created and up to 12,000 employees working in shifts who will travel to the plant every day, an enormous growth in the volume of traffic for which it will expand the regional station with more train and bus connections, additional parking lots and even the construction of a bicycle highway.

With all this, there is no doubt that when she is ready, she will take a great advantage in the world of electric cars.

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The streaming war is raging; Disney + increases competition

MEXICO CITY.

The music and video streaming industry is growing in Mexico. The arrival of Disney +, the new offer of Spotify and Amazon Music for podcasts, and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, expanding their partnerships with local content producers, make the battles get tougher for the market.

In the midst of a pandemic, streaming will be one of the few industries with strong growth, as the confinement made it one of the main sources of entertainment.

For Radamés Camargo, analysis manager of The Competitive Intelligence Unit, the virtue of this type of services is that they allow access to video and audio content, or both, through the internet in a ubiquitous way and on demand, without the need to download them in the device.

In addition, Mexico is an attractive market for this type of platform, because the universe of Internet users who consumed streaming content stood at 44.3 million at the end of last year.

This means that just over 50% of Internet users make up the audience of these platforms, a growing proportion and that, definitely, will register an acceleration during confinement “, said the specialist.

GREAT VALUE

Analysis of several consulting firms such as PwC estimate a 26% advance for video streaming platforms in Mexico at the end of the year, generating revenues of close to 881 million dollars and surpassing the film industry. For Statista, video streaming revenues in the country will stand at 868 million dollars in 2020 and by 2025 they will reach just over two billion dollars.

Anderson Ramires, partner of Technology, Media, Telecommunications and digital services at PwC Mexico, assured that Mexico will become the largest market for streaming in Latin America in 2022, surpassing Brazil.

SPOTIFY, DOMINANT

The survey Market, consumption and diversity in video transmission services in Latin America, published by Sherlock Communication, found that the market for streaming services in the country is really growing.

This is because 82% of the Mexicans surveyed indicated that they subscribe to a video streaming service and 33% commented that they have an account due to isolation.

Regarding music streaming, Javier Piñol, head of Spotify Studios for Latin America, registered a growth of more than 400% in the podcast intake in the region on the platform, more than double compared to the global average.

Spotify has 85% of the country’s market.

DISNEY, THE NEW IN BATTLE

In Mexico, the offer of streaming services, both video and music, is very vast and there are large players such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video and, more recently, Disney +.

The platform took about a year to arrive in the country, it was launched in the United States on November 12, 2019, but it does so with a very aggressive strategy. For example, it had an offer to acquire the service for 1,359 pesos per year and it allied with Mercado Libre to offer the service with several free months depending on the level of the buyer.

In addition, it comes with a competitive official price of 159 pesos per month available for four devices, 4K content and a maximum of 7 user profiles.

The platform has good expectations with its launch in Mexico and other Latin American countries, in particular because in its first year of operations it reached more than 73 million users. Yesterday it was the most downloaded app on Apple and Android, both for mobile devices and televisions.

NETFLIX WINS ON THE BAGS

Yesterday Disney +, the streaming platform of the entertainment giant Disney, was launched in Mexico and the memes did not wait, although some say that Netflix must be trembling with fear, the reality is that the queen of the series is going through a good streak, at least in the markets.

Its shares went from worth $ 329.81 at the beginning of the year to $ 480.63 this Tuesday, an increase of 45.72%, while the company’s capitalization value amounted to $ 212.340 billion. Instead, Disney shares went from $ 148.20 at the beginning of the year to $ 144.50, a reduction of 2.49%, while its capitalization value is $ 257.2 billion, just above Netflix’s.

The company behind Mickey Mouse, Star Wars and even The Simpsons, has experienced serious difficulties during the pandemic, mainly due to the closure of its theme parks.

AMAZON MUSIC PODCAST ARRIVES IN MEXICO; THE BET IS ON THE ORIGINALS

By Paul Lara

A new way to entertain yourself comes to Amazon Music today: podcasts. But you will not only be able to listen to them in your app on your mobile device or computer, just by saying to Alexa put a podcast, the company’s virtual assistant will play them on one of the many Echo or Fire TV devices that Amazon has brought to Mexico , if you have one in your home or office.

For Federico Pedersen, head of Amazon Music for Latin America, the launch of podcasts complements the rapid expansion in the offer of music and audio content in Mexico. “In addition, there is the opportunity for content creators to upload their audios to the platform, as we are always looking for talent that can be part of the originals, a strong commitment with which we are going to differentiate ourselves from the competition in Mexico.”

As in the music service, the recommendation engine, under a human curatorship, can give you a good idea to listen to a podcast that goes with your lifestyle or music, which will make the product and content attractive.

Podcasts are a service that the platform’s clients were asking for, as we are always listening to them. We know that there are more offers on the market, and we applaud it, that people listen to the different proposals and choose the one they consider best, hence the commitment to the originals ”, Pedersen commented.

In an interview he commented that podcasts are part of the daily listening experience of our users at home, in the car and even when exercising. “Offering podcasts to Amazon Music users is an important addition to the experience we offer; now, in addition to having the best of music, our listeners also have access to thousands of hours of high quality content ”.

Main Music Streaming Services:

  • Spotify
  • Apple Music
  • Youtube Music
  • Amazon Prime Music
  • Deezer

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Corona: How German companies avoid infection

BAt the auto supplier ZF, work is going on again at the Eitorf location. Production in the shock absorber plant in North Rhine-Westphalia last stood still for four days because there was an accumulation of corona cases. The virus was detected in 91 of the almost 700 employees, reports the health department of the Rhein-Sieg district.

Two more test series are now being set up to get a better picture of the situation and to identify those employees who are now allowed to continue working at least in one-shift operation.

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Distance and hygiene rules

ZF cannot explain how the infections came about. “To date, there is no indication that the virus has spread on the factory premises,” says a company spokesman with reference to intensive controls by the authorities.

“No hygiene deficiencies were found.” And there is no other case in the ZF world, with 160,000 employees at 260 locations in 41 countries, that is only rudimentarily comparable.

Only a few companies stand still

But it is not only at Germany’s third largest automotive supplier that there is a lack of comparable cases. It is true that production companies with increased numbers of corona cases and corresponding effects on production can be found across Germany. The upholstered furniture manufacturer Himolla, for example, recently cut production at its Taufkirchen location in Bavaria by 40 percent because 36 out of 160 employees had a positive result in series tests.

In Fürth, on the other hand, the dough production at Wolf Butterback was shut down for a day because additional protective measures were implemented in the factory after the virus was detected in 56 of 600 employees.

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Closed catering at the Maschsee in Hanover.  Closed restaurant at Maschsee Hanover.  GES / Daily life in Hanover during the corona crisis, April 23rd, 2020 GES / Daily life during the corona crisis in Hanover, Germany.  04/23/2020 [ Rechtehinweis: picture alliance/augenklick/GE

Unter dem Strich ist die Zahl der Vorfälle in der Industrie und im produzierenden Gewerbe aber gering, heißt es beim Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) aus Köln. „Vorfälle gibt es vereinzelt, aber nicht flächendeckend“, sagt Hubertus Bardt, Geschäftsführer und Leiter Wissenschaft beim IW. „Die Auswirkungen der aktuell zweiten Welle auf die Industrie halten sich bislang in engen Grenzen.“

Eine Hochburg für Ansteckungen sei das produzierende Gewerbe, in dem nicht mal eben auf Homeoffice umgestellt werden kann, jedenfalls nicht. „Die Unternehmen haben im Frühjahr schnell und viel gelernt und passende Hygienekonzepte auf- und umgesetzt“, sagt Bardt.

Lieferketten in Gefahr

Entsprechend groß ist die Erleichterung bei den einschlägigen Branchenverbänden. Denn natürlich hat die Wirtschaft Angst, dass sich die Produktion in den Unternehmen zum Hotspot entwickelt und damit Beschränkungen oder gar Schließungen drohen, die dann für etliche Unternehmen zum Überlebensrisiko werden könnten und dazu noch Auswirkungen auf Lieferketten haben. Der Fall ZF zum Beispiel hat dem Vernehmen nach bei VW in Wolfsburg sofort für Alarmstimmung gesorgt – weil die Stoßdämpfer aus Eitorf dort in der Produktion benötigt werden.

„Vereinzelt kann es kurzfristig zu Störungen in der Lieferkette kommen, wenn ein kritischer Zulieferer kurzfristig nicht liefern kann. Dies stellt aber insgesamt kein wesentliches Problem dar“, sagt Bianca Illner, die Leiterin der Abteilung Business Advisory beim Maschinenbauverband VDMA. Bisher habe es aber nur vereinzelt Fälle in den Unternehmen gegeben. „Meistens ist die Produktion für mehrere Stunden bis zu einem Tag geschlossen, um in Ruhe eine Kontaktverfolgung und weitere Hygienemaßnahmen vornehmen zu können.“

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Die Maschinenbauunternehmen setzen dabei auf Austausch. Seit März schon gibt es den vom Verband initiierten und regelmäßig tagenden Arbeitskreis „Produzieren während einer Pandemie“.

Den gleichen Namen hat zudem ein 37-seitiges Papier mit Empfehlungen zu Themen wie Kontaktvermeidung, Abstandsregeln oder Hygiene- und Schutzausrüstungen. Maskenpflicht, Abstandsgebote, Trennwände und Desinfektionspausen, aber auch entzerrte Schichten und immer gleiche Team-Zusammensetzungen gehören dabei zum Standardprogramm in den Firmen.

Maskenpflicht und umgebaute Kantinen

Vielerorts gehen die Maßnahmen aber auch noch deutlich weiter. Der Ventilatorenhersteller EBM-Papst zum Beispiel testet derzeit kamerabasierte Temperaturmessgeräte an den Eingängen und hat zudem schon seit Wochen Handgeräte im Einsatz, mit denen im Bedarfsfall die Temperatur gemessen wird. Zudem hält das Familienunternehmen aus Mulfingen in Baden-Württemberg sowohl Tausende Schnelltests als auch klassische PCR-Tests für die Belegschaft vor, mit denen alle Personen aus dem Arbeitsumfeld von Mitarbeitern mit auftretenden Symptomen sofort überprüft werden.

Auch die Kantine wurde umgebaut. „Wir haben jeden zweiten Stuhl rausgenommen“, beschreibt ein Sprecher. Nun liegt ein Mindestabstand von 1,50 Metern zwischen den einzelnen Sitzplätzen am Mittagstisch. Daher müssen die Mitarbeiter abteilungsspezifisch und in Etappen in die Kantine gehen, die zudem ihre Öffnungszeiten ausgeweitet hat, damit auch jeder Mitarbeiter versorgt werden kann. Und bislang wirken die Maßnahmen. „Wir hatten bislang keine Übertragung auf dem Werksgelände“, versichert der Sprecher, demzufolge der Maßnahmenkatalog regelmäßig aktualisiert wird.

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Autogipfel mit der Kanzlerin

Das passiert auch bei Pre Zero, der Entsorgungstochter der Schwarz-Gruppe, zu der die beiden Handelsketten Lidl und Kaufland gehören. Aktuell sind die Müllwerker von Pre Zero angehalten, ihre pro Person fünf Arbeitsanzüge möglichst oft zur Reinigung zu bringen. Gleichzeitig werden die Kontakte im Unternehmen auf das Nötigste beschränkt, sagt ein Sprecher. Dazu wurden die Arbeitszeiten verändert. Nun können sich die einzelnen Schichten nicht mehr zum kollegialen Plausch treffen.

Zudem werden die Teams der Sammelfahrzeuge nicht mehr getauscht. Und auch die Zuordnung der Wagen, in denen im Übrigen eine Maskenpflicht gilt, bleibt unverändert: Wenn möglich nehmen die Mitarbeiter die Müllfahrzeuge nach Feierabend sogar mit nach Hause, damit keine anderen Fahrer und Teams ihre Spuren im jeweiligen Lkw hinterlassen können. „Wir stellen damit sicher, dass die Kreislaufwirtschaft trotz der sehr speziellen Rahmenbedingungen zuverlässig funktioniert.“

Interne Kritik an neuem Arbeitszeiten-Modell

Weitgehend reibungslos läuft auch der Tagesbetrieb bei der Deutschen Post in der Pandemiezeit. Weder in den 36 Paketzentren noch in den 82 Briefzentren, die im Bundesgebiet und den Bundesländern verteilt sind, kam es bisher zu Schließungen. Dabei steigt die Arbeit der rund 140.000 Postmitarbeiter, von denen gut die Hälfte Briefe und Pakete zustellt, in diesen Wochen täglich an.

„Aktuell liegen wir bei den Paketmengen bereits mehr als 13 Prozent über dem vergleichbaren Vorjahreszeitraum“, heißt es in einem internen Rundschreiben. An jedem Werktag stellt die Post etwa 55 Millionen Briefe und gut fünf Millionen Pakete zu. An Spitzentagen in der Zeit vor Weihnachten sind es elf Millionen Paketsendungen.

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Bislang spricht die Post für ihre wichtigen Zustellbasen und Zustellstützpunkte bundesweit von einem „vergleichsweise niedrigen Infektionsgeschehen“. Dagegen habe sich die Lage in den großen Sortierzentren nach höheren Werten „inzwischen erfreulicherweise stabilisiert“. Als wichtigste Maßnahme zum Schutz der Mitarbeiter hat die Post ihren Tagesbetrieb aufgeteilt.

Das sogenannte Zwei-Wellen-Verfahren in der Auslieferung bedeutet, dass zum Beispiel nur die Hälfte aller Briefboten zu ihrer üblichen Frühmorgenzeit mit der Arbeit beginnt. Die anderen Zusteller machen sich erst am Vormittag auf ihre Zustelltouren. Intern hat es daran laut Gewerkschaftsangaben auch Kritik gegeben.

Kontaktreduzierung auch in Betrieben

Die Post testet in jeder Arbeitswoche eine bis zu fünfstellige Zahl von Mitarbeitern auf eine Infektion mit dem Coronavirus. Dabei kam zuletzt heraus, dass dadurch bis zu 30 Prozent der Covid-19 Fälle im Betrieb frühzeitig erkannt werden konnten. Fast die Hälfte der Tests entfallen auf PCR-Volltestungen in den Paketzentren. Daneben hat das Unternehmen wöchentliche Selbsttests für bestimmten Mitarbeiter organisiert.

Dazu gehören zum Beispiel sämtliche Verwaltungsbeschäftigte mit Kontakt zu Mitarbeitern in den Betriebshallen ebenso wie die Transportaufsicht oder Personaldisponenten. In den Postzentren setzt der Konzern seit einigen Wochen eigene Sicherheitskräfte ein. Denn längst nicht überall werden die Regeln eingehalten. So habe die neu eingerichtete Gesundheits-Security bei ihren Vor-Ort-Begehungen immer wieder Verstöße gegen die Abstandsregeln oder das Tragen von Mund-Nasen-Schutz festgestellt, heißt es in dem Rundschreiben.

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Ob die Wirtschaft auch in den kommenden Wochen weiter gut durch die Krise kommt, hängt derweil nicht allein an den Unternehmen. „Schulschließungen wären ein harter Schlag für die Unternehmen, vor allem in den produktionsnahen Bereichen“, warnt zum Beispiel IW-Experte Bardt. Der Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) wiederum sorgt sich um die Lieferketten und sieht dahin gehend eine „hochgradig fragile“ Lage.

„Unternehmen der Industrie sind in Sorge wegen härterer Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Infektionsgeschehens in anderen Staaten“, sagt Verbandspräsident Dieter Kempf. „Der internationale Warenaustausch und die grenzüberschreitende Wirtschaftstätigkeit müssen auch in Zeiten einer Pandemie so gut wie nur möglich funktionieren.“ Die Bundesregierung müsse daher auf europäischer Ebene die von ihr angestoßene Verabredung gemeinsamer Standards sicherstellen, damit in allen EU-Risikogebieten vergleichbare und gegenseitig anerkannte Hygiene- und Schutzmaßnahmen gelten.

Dienstreisen werden wieder schwieriger

Dass es in China nun wieder verschärfte Einreisebestimmungen gibt, ist nach BDI-Angaben ein schwerer Schlag. „Die neuen Bestimmungen belasten die Geschäftstätigkeit der deutschen Industrie im wichtigen chinesischen Markt sehr“, kommentiert Hauptgeschäftsführer Joachim Lang.

„Ingenieure können Anlagen nicht in Betrieb nehmen, Service-Techniker nicht deren reibungslose Funktion gewährleisten, Vertriebsmitarbeiter nicht ihre chinesischen Kunden vor Ort beraten und bedienen. Die Folgen der mittel- und langfristigen Einschränkungen gehen zulasten unserer Unternehmen.“ Die globalisierte und integrierte Welt sei auch in Pandemiezeiten auf einen möglichst uneingeschränkten Personenverkehr angewiesen.

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