STIHL Production Area in China Almost Doubled

STIHL has invested €17 million in the expansion of its Chinese manufacturing facility in Qingdao. The factory’s floor area has been increased from 22,500 to 39,000 square meters and production capacity almost doubled. Some 200 new jobs will be created by the new extension.

“Our factory here in China is an important member of STIHL’s international manufacturing network. With this extension we want to broaden our product line and considerably strengthen our presence in Asia,” said STIHL executive board chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora at the inauguration ceremony in Qingdao. STIHL produces chainsaws, brushcutters and hedge trimmers in China for the Asian and international markets. The 5 millionth product produced by STIHL in Qingdao will come off the assembly line only one day after the inauguration ceremony. Dr. Kandziora stressed: “The quality of our products in China is first class and at the same high level as the quality at all other STIHL plants.”

Today, 711 men and women work at the Qingdao plant. A total of nearly 3,000 people are employed at all of STIHL’s Chinese plants.

The three sections of the new building, comprising production, supply/disposal center and the enlarged canteen, have been designed on ecological lines. All indoor areas are heated and air conditioned with geothermally heated or cooled water. Heat recovery from spent air is integrated in the central building management system. Even the heating of process water is a constituent part of the system. The extension to the plant was was opened at an official ceremony yesterday.

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The Garden Centre Group Takes Over The Garden Leisure Group

The Garden Centre Group just announced that they took over the Garden & Leisure Group from Louis Delhaize, owner of Truffaut, the largest garden centre chain in France.

The takeover includes seven sites at very good locations. The Garden Centre Group now owns 139 stores altogether and strengthened its leading position on the garden centre market. Kevin Bradshaw, Chief Executive of The Garden Centre Group said about the acquisition: “Adding these unique, destination stores to our group represents a major milestone in our ambitious growth plans and the seven centres, in strong catchment areas, complement our existing estate well.” The locations at Barnett Hill, Endsleigh, Cadbury, Huntingdon, Gardenlands, Melbicks and Percy Thrower’s will be made into flagship stores.

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Topos Landscape Award 2013 for Peter Latz

German Landscape architect Peter Latz has been awarded the Topos Landscape Award 2013. The magazine Topos – The International Review of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design chose Latz mainly because of his design of the Landscape Park Duisburg in the 1990s. According to Topos the Landscape Park is an icon of how to handle and reuse post-industrial sites.

Major parks play an important role in large and growing cities. Facing radical global economic and social changes in the post-industrial age, landscape architects have to learn to reinterpret the idea of a “park”. With his conversion of the industrial waste land into a green public space for the citizens, Peter Latz influenced landscape architects worldwide. Others of his popular projects are the City Park River Port Island in Saarbrücken, the Parco Dora in Turin and the recreation of the former garbage disposal Hiriya in Tel Aviv. The particular local conditions to him are more important than creating a universal style recognized by everybody immediately.

The award ceremony will take place on September 10th in Munich as part of the Topos conference Strategic Urbanism.

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ELCA: Europe-Wide Study Shows Satisfaction With Green Spaces

The European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA) initiated together with Forsa a study in which over 5.000 Europeans in ten metropolises were asked about their use and satisfaction with the parks and green spaces in their cities. People in Berlin, Zurich, London, Prague, Vienna, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Paris, Budapest and Copenhagen participated.

On average citizens were satisfied with the quantity of parks and green spaces. Amsterdam is on top of the list with 88 percent satisfaction and Paris on the bottom. In the French capital only 48 percent are satisfied with the supply of green spaces.

The study shows that the number of parks and green spaces is sufficient. But considerable deficits exist between the requirements of the population and the actual state of the green spaces. There is a discrepancy between the needs of the people for well maintained green spaces and their actual conditions. “Authorities with their urban planning have not taken the needs of the population into account. Urban green is not taken sufficiently into consideration in urban planning processes. Authorities do not recognize the chances and potential of urban green spaces for achieving a more ecological, social and economical and sustainable development.”  ELCA President Emanuel Mony explained.

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German Hardware Store Chain Praktiker Goes Into Insolvency

Praktiker AG, a German home-improvement retailer, said it’s considering insolvency for itself and units after some of its creditors didn’t approve more financing.

Excessive debt and lack of liquidity are reasons for declaring insolvency, the company said in a statement today.

Alternative financing became necessary after the company failed to sell a stake in Luxembourg-based unit Batiself SA because the buyer’s board didn’t approve a deal, Praktiker said. Proceeds from a sale had been “firmly included” in the retailer’s financing plan from last year, it said.

Shares in Praktiker were floated by then-parent Metro AG  in 2005. The company’s current shareholders include Donau Invest Beteiligungs GmbH with a 10 percent stake and Maseltov Ltd. at 9.6 percent, according to its website.


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