RAG will be transferring its headquarters to Essen in the summer of 2017. The company will be moving on to the UNESCO-designated Zollverein World Heritage Site. For RAG this will mean a return to the city where it was first established as Ruhrkohle AG in 1968 and a new home at what was once the most modern coal mine in the world. In announcing the project Bernd Tönjes, the RAG Chairman, stressed that even when subsidised coal production comes to an end the company will still be the first point of call for all matters relating to the legacy and impact of the mining industry.
Zollverein is already home to RAG Montan Immobilien GmbH, which as RAG’s property subsidiary is responsible for projects such as the redevelopment and marketing of Zollverein coking plant. Working in partnership with Essen-based developers Kölbl & Kruse RAG Montan Immobilien is now preparing a new-build project that will be finished in September 2017 at the old coking plant on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016. The new accommodation will be built to the latest sustainability standards and is to be designed as a carbon-neutral ‘green building’. This principle will be used both for the structure of the building and for the integrated energy supply and internal design of the living and working space.
The two partners have also set up the World Heritage Development Company (Welterbe Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH Co. KG) and are currently engaged in a new-build project at the Folkwang Academy of Arts and in a new hotel development on the Design Centre site at Zollverein. The new RAG headquarters building will be located adjacent to the RAG Montan Immobilien head office.
Staff from the Herne and Bottrop offices will be moved into the new building in stages. The operational duties of the ‘eternity company’, which essentially consists of operations based around mine dewatering work, along with the processing of mining subsidence claims, are to be carried out by the relevant personnel at the Pluto offices in Herne-Wanne.
RAG’s decision has primarily been based on financial considerations. The annualised cost of the new head office building will be well below the combined cost that the company would otherwise incur at all its other operating sites. What is more, the capacity of the existing offices is not in accordance with future requirements.
In his statement Tönjes goes on to say that the move signalled the fact that RAG will continue to assume responsibility for the region and the post-mining era and that it would do this from its new home on a former and highly symbolic mining site right in the heart of the Ruhr. (RAG/Si)