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The economic region includes the city of Wilhelmshaven and the districts of Friesland, Wittmund and Wesermarsch, with a total population of approx. 330,000. Around 64 % are of working age between 15 and 65 years, totalling approx. 210,000 women and men.

The average unemployment ratio in 2010 (number of unemployed in proportion to all persons in civilian jobs) totalled 8.8 % in the area for which the Wilhelmshaven Agentur für Arbeit is responsible – which also includes the district of Friesland.

Because of the original designation of Wilhelmshaven as a naval port with shipbuilding, the area is dominated by metal-processing industries. After the decline of naval shipbuilding in the region, industries in a wide range of segments have developed involving steel engineering, crane engineering and precision engineering. These sectors are supplemented by medium-sized companies involved in shipbuilding and ship repairs.

One of the main industrial sectors in Wilhelmshaven is the port industry with its wharfs, sea port service companies, service providers and repair businesses, transhipment and handling businesses, and agencies, etc. The “JadeWeserPort” – Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven (CTW) due for commissioning in August 2012, and the development of the neighbouring Freight Village provide excellent prospects for employment in areas such as logistics and distribution.

Another element of the “Wilhelmshaven energy hub” programme is the chemical industry (refinery, PVC and chlorine gas production) as well as power generation (two coal-fired power stations, wind power).

Other important sectors include food and enjoyment foods with a chocolate factory, fish processing, and the import and chilling of food.

The adjacent Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer National Park (part of the Wattenmeer UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site) provides the basis for the major tourism industry in the region.

The German defence forces (German navy, navy arsenal, logistics centre) together with the public sector, are the main pillars of the local employment market. Marine technology companies enjoy the related benefits of this maritime and naval location.

Major companies in Wilhelmshaven:

Company Sector
E.ON Kraftwerke GmbH Coal-fired power station
EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven GmbH & Co. KG; Operating company of Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven CTW (JadeWeserPort)
GEW Wilhelmshaven GmbH  Gas, electricity and water utility
HBV Holz- und Baustoff-Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG Planing mill, timber trade
Hermann Geithner Söhne GmbH & Co. Construction and civil engineering
HIS Sicherheitsdienst GmbH Security services
HPKJ Hydraulik-Pneumatik-Kontor Jade GmbH System provider in hydraulics and pneumatic
INEOS Chlor Atlantik GmbH Chlorine gas production
INEOS Vinyls Deutschland GmbH PVC and VCM production
Interseroh Jade-Stahl GmbH Scrap recycling
Laeppché Unternehmensgruppe Specialist in rolling bearings and linear guidance systems
Manitowoc Crane Group Germany GmbH Mobile crane construction
Mindfactory GmbH Mail order company for computers and computer components
MIZ GmbH Technical and logistics consultant for materials management
Navitek - Schiffsreparatur und technische Beratungsgesellschaft mbH Ship repairs, ship operating technology
Neue Jadewerft GmbH Shipbuilding / repair
Nietiedt Unternehmensgruppe Painting, industrial coatings, scaffolding, insulation technology
Nordfrost GmbH & Co. KG Tiefkühllogistiker
Nord-West-Oelleitung GmbH Crude oil import
Oldenburger Zahnradwerke und Maschinenbauan-stalt Kurt Rust GmbH & Co. KG Production of machined parts for the aerospace industry
Peine Gruppe Clothing
Rhenus Midgard AG & Co. oHG Port handling, storage
Royal Greenland Seafood GmbH Frozen food
SVG AG Unternehmensgruppe Security services, valuables transport, cash processing, site protection…
THALES Naval GmbH Software services
TURBO-TECHNIK Reparatur-Werft GmbH & Co. KG Repair and conversion of ships of all kinds, industrial and assembly work
Ulmer Schokoladen GmbH Schokoladenhersteller
Wessel-Hydraulik GmbH Mechanical engineering
Wilhelmshavener Raffineriegesellschaft mbH Oil refinery

The company database in the regional information system RegIS contains detailed information on the companies operating in Wilhelmshaven. 

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