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Germany promises Elon Musk full support to get Tesla's Berlin plant ready

02 September 2020, Berlin: Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk (r) leaves the executive board meeting of the CDU/CSU in Westhafen. Musk had presented the party with an RNA Printer, a device used to produce vaccine candidates. The RNA Printer is a joint development of the biopharmaceutical company CureVac and Tesla Grohmann Automation, a company focusing on highly automated production processes. Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa (Photo by Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images)
02 September 2020, Berlin: Elon Musk (r) leaves the executive board meeting of the CDU/CSU, where he presented the party with an RNA Printer, a device used to produce vaccine candidates. The RNA Printer is a joint development of the biopharmaceutical company CureVac and Tesla Grohmann Automation. Photo: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tesla (TSLA) chief executive Elon Musk met lawmakers from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin on Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of their parliamentary group meeting.

Musk met health minister Jens Spahn, CDU faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus, and economy minister Peter Altmaier. He did not meet Merkel, who was also at the caucus day.

Altmaier told the electric-car pioneer that the German government “will help in whatever way needed to get Tesla's Berlin plant up and running.”

“We are very proud of your car plant in Brandenburg and we wish you good luck with that,” Altmaier told Musk. “You’ll have every assistance you need.”

Tesla is currently building a huge Gigafactory car plant in Grünheide in the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds the capital Berlin. German politicians broadly feted Musk’s decision last year to pick Germany for the location of the first Tesla Gigafactory in Europe.

READ MORE: German biotech CureVac confirms Elon Musk visit this week

Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) commissioner Thomas Bareiß said last month that the speed and scale of Tesla project sends a positive signal about Germany as a place to get large projects done.

The plant, which Tesla is aiming to have ready by mid-2021, will aim to produce 500,000 vehicles a year at full capacity, and it has said it will create around 10,000 jobs.

Musk arrived in Germany on Tuesday (1 September) and made a visit to biotech company CureVac (CVAC), which is currently working on a potential vaccine for COVID-10.

Musk tweeted on Sunday 30 August that: “Tesla, as a side project, is building RNA microfactories for CureVac & possibly others.” Tesla’s German subsidiary Grohmann is reportedly developing an RNA printer for faster vaccine production.

Speaking about the cooperation between Grohmann and CureVac in Berlin today, CDU faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus said: "International networking is important."

CureVac boss Franz-Werner Haas told Reuters that it would not have been possible to move forward without the automation technology from Tesla Grohmann.