Wastewater treatment for China

Lübbenau business promoter builds Luckau company a bridge to the Far East

Gerard Pieper from Lübbenau has been arranging business contacts to China for companies in the region for 20 years. A company in Luckau can now benefit from this once again.

In July, the contract between LKT and a Chinese state-owned company was signed at the Brandenburg State Representation.

© Foto: WfBB/Wirtschaftsförderung Brandenburg

The photo shows representatives of both companies, the state government and the Brandenburg Economic Development Corporation.
A business promoter is obliged to maintain confidentiality. Good contacts in the business world and functioning networks are the result of personal contacts. This is particularly important in China. Says someone who should know. Gerard Pieper from Lübbenau, Managing Director of Pieper Innovationsgesellschaft GmbH, has been bringing companies in the capital region and Lusatia together with companies in China for twenty years. To this end, he founded the Brandenburg-China Technology Bridge business initiative with partners there.

With a certain regularity, the successes of the Technology Bridge are nevertheless publicized despite all the discretion that must be maintained. One of the first successful projects was the order for series production of Wankel engines for Wankel Supertec GmbH Cottbus. Other important framework cooperation and license agreements followed, such as the one between Deutsche Bahn AG and the leading Chinese railroad company CRRC. Among other things, this involved the development of a repair management system for the new metro in the Tianjin special development zone.

Second contract even bigger

Lausitzer Klärtechnik GmbH in Luckau (LKT) also benefited from the efforts of Pieper and his Chinese partners. Based on a contract concluded in 2018 with the China Railway Roling Stock Corporation (CRRC), 300 small biological wastewater treatment plants were supplied for villages in the southern Chinese province of Fujan. According to Pieper, another cooperation agreement was recently concluded between LKT and a Chinese state-owned company, which provides for an even larger order volume. LKT has agreed to help connect 4500 villages in the province of Hebei to wastewater treatment systems.
LKT Managing Director Michael Müller (2nd from left), Sales Manager Philipp Thiele (3rd from right) and Gerard Pieper (right) with Chinese partners in Fujan.

LKT Managing Director Michael Müller (2nd from left), Sales Manager Philipp Thiele (3rd from right) and Gerard Pieper (right) with Chinese partners in Fujan. © Photo: LKT

According to Pieper, the business initiative is currently also supporting a project involving the Brandenburg-based company Ytterstone. A cooperation and licensing agreement that has already been concluded provides for the joint production and sale of one million square meters of façade elements. Collaboration with other companies in the electrical and automation technology sector in the region is taking place as part of the structural change in Lusatia. "We hope," says Pieper, "to be able to make a small contribution to the success of structural change in Lusatia." To this end, they are working closely with the Cottbus, Potsdam and East Brandenburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Brandenburg Economic Development Agency.
The general conditions for his work have deteriorated in recent years, says Pieper. The restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine are the reasons for this. But not the only ones. While he continues to experience the Chinese side as cooperative, uncertainty is palpable on the German side. The willingness to enter into contract negotiations with Chinese companies has waned.

Germany long since overtaken

China expert Gerald Pieper has been giving talks in Lübbenau for years, trying to dispel prejudices and clear up misunderstandings, as he says: "Many people have an incomplete view of China and don't see the impact of the rapid rise of China and Asia on us." Last May, Pieper and his partner Gang Wu, who lives in Germany, hosted a Chinese evening at the Bunte Bühne in Lübbenau. Representatives of the Chinese community living in Berlin and Cottbus presented a folklore program, which was also shown at the May Festival in Senftenberg.
The evening included Chinese food, art to take home and a tea-making course. And there was a talk by Gerard Pieper, in which he painted a positive picture of China, drawing on his experiences from his many business trips to China. He also expressed his enthusiasm for the ultra-modern transport infrastructure in China. According to the man from Lübbenau, he would like to continue sharing his experiences.
Gerard Pieper during a lecture at the Bunte Bühne in Lübbenau.

Gerard Pieper during a lecture at the Bunte Bühne in Lübbenau. © Photo: Peter Becke

Gerard Pieper will therefore be organizing lectures again in the autumn. But probably in a different format in order to reach a younger audience. Because: "For this generation, it is even more important to recognize where they stand as future employees in Germany in global competition." China, for example, has built up a lead in automotive development and has also left Germany behind in terms of patent applications. China is still regarded as the world champion of copying. "But," says Pieper, "that is no longer the case."

Daniel Preikschat