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28 Jun 2024 Press release

NRW Minister-President Hendrik Wüst in conversation with Wilo President & CEO Oliver Hermes

Oliver Hermes, President & CEO of the Wilo Group, (2nd from right) and Minister-President Hendrik Wüst (1st from left) visit the Smart Factory of the Dortmund-based technology group Wilo.Image: WILO SE

Focus on Wilopark as well as economic and industrial policy

Dortmund. Hendrik Wüst, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), visited the Wilopark in Dortmund. In a discussion with Oliver Hermes, President & CEO of the Wilo Group, Wüst learned about Wilo’s sustainability strategy, intelligent and digitalised production processes, and the H2POWERPLANT hydrogen solution. The headquarters of the multinational technology group provided the perfect setting for discussing economic and industrial policy as well.

“As a multinational technology group and a family business firmly rooted in the Ruhr region, Wilo embodies the strengths of NRW’s industry with its smart, efficient, and environmentally friendly pumps, systems and solutions: In North Rhine-Westphalia, we have innovative manufacturing companies, sustainable cutting-edge technologies and the best prerequisites for becoming the leading digital region in Europe. We must build on these strengths together in order to successfully overcome the economic and social challenges of our times and maintain prosperity and good jobs here in the long term”, said Minister-President Wüst at the on-site meeting.

“We are proud to have created a highly sustainable and digitalised working and manufacturing environment with the Wilopark”, explained Hermes. “But investing heavily in our long-standing Dortmund location was a rational management decision. This investment has ensured that the location is competitive today and will remain so in future, despite high energy prices and a shortage of skilled labour.” Nevertheless, politicians are called upon to improve the framework conditions for business and industry – in NRW and throughout Germany. “Germany is experiencing run-away deindustrialisation. We now need bold economic and industrial policy in response”, Hermes continued.

The Wilo Group believes it is well-placed to respond and has recently defined a new, comprehensive sustainability strategy, to which all other functional business strategies are now subordinate. With Creating, Caring, and Connecting, the Group is committed to creating sustainable technologies and solutions, assuming social responsibility and investing in strong partnerships worldwide. This triad represents the courageous change of perspective that the company has adopted and, according to Hermes, which should also determine the actions of German and European politicians.

The Wilopark comprises the Smart Factory, the Pioneer Cube as main administration building, the Innovation Cube as a research and development centre, and the Networking Cube as a market partner meeting centre. In mid-December, Wilo broke ground for the new health centre Health Cube, which will open in 2026. To mark the 150th anniversary of the Wilo Group, the technology group also put the H2POWERPLANT hydrogen plant into operation. In total, Wilo has invested over 400 million euros in the development of the site.

During the visit, Wüst and Hermes also discussed the current NRW-USA Year. Under the motto “A perfect match”, players from politics and business have been organising numerous events relating to the transatlantic partnership since June 2023. “As a company with two large locations, around 500 employees and a strong market presence in the United States, we are naturally delighted to be involved”, Hermes explained.


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