Bosch to invest further in expanding its European heat-pump locations

Heat pumps are a key technology for achieving the European climate targets in the building sector. Owing to significantly increased demand, Bosch has been investing heavily in expanding its European heat-pump development and manufacturing network since 2018. To keep the ramp-up of heat pumps running at the required speed, Bosch intends to step up its investments.

“Heat-pump technology is a European success story that we want to continue. At the same time, we are helping to decarbonize the more than 200 million buildings in Europe. For this purpose, we will be investing more than 1 billion euros by the end of the decade,” says Christian Fischer, the deputy chairman of the Bosch board of management who is responsible for the company’s Energy and Building Technology and Consumer Goods business sectors. Of this amount, some 255 million euros will go into a new heat-pump manufacturing site in Dobromierz in Lower Silesia, roughly 70 kilometers from Wrocław, by the end of 2027. Construction work is to start in 2024. Start of production is scheduled for the end of 2025/start of 2026. Some 500 new jobs are to be created by 2027.

Bosch will also be strengthening its existing European locations: at the Bosch Group’s oldest location in Eibelshausen in Germany, for example, the new year will see the start of production of the indoor units for an especially quiet and eco-friendly heat pump that runs on the natural refrigerant R290 (propane). Furthermore, Bosch has significantly expanded its development capacity in Germany since 2019. Overall, the number of models in its heat-pump portfolio has doubled, with existing models being modified or updated. Apart from Eibelshausen, Bosch also develops and manufactures heat pumps in Aveiro, Portugal, Tranås, Sweden, and Wernau, Germany. In Israel, moreover, Bosch is part of a joint venture for reversible heat pumps with Electra Industries.

European heat-pump market growing exceptionally fast

Heat pumps are a major growth driver for the Bosch Home Comfort Group (formerly Bosch Thermotechnology). Globally, its heat-pump sales grew 54 percent in 2022. For the European heat-pump market as a whole, annual growth of roughly 20 percent is forecast between now and 2025. Over the current decade, 30 million additional heat pumps are to be installed in the European Union. “In the European Union, we expect growth in this very dynamic environment to be exceptionally high, and have set ourselves the target of growing significantly faster than the market. Together with our existing plants in Europe, the new plant in Poland will helps us achieve these growth targets,” says Jan Brockmann, the CEO of the Bosch Home Comfort Group.

Heat pumps are especially suitable for new-builds. “However, most of the housing stock in Europe is legacy buildings. This is why a diversified portfolio strategy is needed to achieve our climate targets,” Brockmann says. Apart from heat pumps, hybrid units comprising a heat pump and a supplementary condensing boiler for peak loads can be an interim solution on the path to climate-neutral housing stock. They are especially suitable for older buildings where there is not enough capital available to completely refurbish the building envelope. The heat pump in a hybrid system is smaller in size, making it more affordable than a standalone heat pump. “With this diversified portfolio strategy, we can achieve a transformation of our energy systems faster, and make it affordable for everyone,” Brockmann adds.