MAN Ferrostaal gets attracted to Cleveland's manufacturing culture

MAN Ferrostaal Inc., the US subsidiary of German company MAN Ferrostaal AG, may go for the construction related to its solar thermal power business in Cleveland. The development has emerged as the company has moved its US headquarters to Cleveland."The first objective of MAN Ferrostaal's new US focus will be the construction of large solar thermal power plants at a cost of more than $1 billion each," reported The Plain Dealer. The same report added that the projects would be built in the sun-drenched American Southwest. The parts, as well as the engineering, could easily originate in Cleveland.Uwe T. Schmidt, president and chief executive officer, MAN Ferrostaal sees Cleveland's manufacturing culture as ideal for his company's expansion into US automotive and renewable-energy markets.On the latest development, Schmidt said, "You (Cleveland) have surplus manufacturing capacity. It's a question of parts, fasteners, boilers," he said. And all of that involves steel and metal working. "In one solar plant, the steel component is huge. It may be about 30 percent in steel and related parts, steel framing, fasteners, all types of screws. They've got to be built somewhere." And they can't be built as easily in the desert, because the manufacturing culture is not there, he said.Terming the US as the most interesting market for the company, Schmidt said, "In the next five years, we see at least 30 [concentrated solar power] plants in the US." Each plant would require 7½ square miles of equipment, produce 200 megawatts and cost $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. Earlier this year, MAN Ferrostaal and the Aachen-based SOLITEM Group decided to jointly market solar cooling systems. MAN Ferrostaal also took a 20.1 percent share of SOLITEM and signed a distribution agreement accordingly. Also, in collaboration with its technology partner, Solar Power Group GmbH, the German company is planning major power plants using Fresnel technology.