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On March 3, the 11th edition of the conference “Polish Infrastructure & Construction” organized by Executive Club took place in The Westin Warsaw hotel. The invited experts presented current issues during a day-long series of debates, divided into three thematic discussion panels and two speeches. The culmination of the event was the evening gala of the “Infrastructure and Construction Diamonds” handout, for the most outstanding entities in the industry. The conference was held under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The event was inaugurated by a special guest – Dr. Libor Lochman, Managing Director of the Community of European Railways and Railway Infrastructure Managers (CER). In his speech, the speaker introduced the concept of “green mobility”. It is the foundation of the so-called Green Deal, i.e. the European Green Deal, which is a set of political initiatives proposed by the European Commission, whose primary goal is to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.
The first topic raised during the panel discussion was public-private partnership. According to the experts, there is still a lack of major implementations in this formula. Local governments implement only small projects for fear of high costs and risks. However, there is a lack of examples “upfront”, i.e. large implementations in cooperation between companies and major institutions, especially as this form gained a solid legal basis in 2018. This amendment is received very positively by the industry, but still a big problem is the frequent changes of law. Fluctuations in the market are another challenge that prevents real investment planning in the long term.
After a short break the second panel started. The discussion started with the Green Deal. This is the factor that currently has the greatest impact on the industry. This is due to the fact that the railway has become an object of great transformation, because it is the greenest and safest means of transport. The transition to renewable energy, electrification of the network, replacement of rolling stock and standardisation of control systems are just some of the elements of a European Green Deal. These changes also concern Poland.
After the break, the time has come for a second speech on this day, entitled “The transition to renewable energy, network electrification, replacement of rolling stock and unification of control systems for trainsets”. After the break, it was time for the second speech of that day entitled “Dynamic simulations in infrastructure: railways, roads, airports”, whose author was Filip Polit – Domestic Sales Manager, FlexSim InterMarium. During the speech, the technology that allows for optimization of planned investments was presented, on the example of Balice Airport in Krakow. The presented simulation, which is a virtual reflection of the real system, allowed to analyze and check the proposed improvements in detail.
The third and last panel discussion concerned new technologies in construction. An important topic discussed by the experts was the sustainable development of companies in the industry and their energy efficiency and reduction of negative environmental impact. The pioneer in such activities is the cement industry in Poland. It is considered to be very modern and energy-efficient, but most of all, it implements the idea of closed-loop management, as it manages as much as 50% of municipal waste. According to the panelists, in order to effectively reduce the negative impact of the industry on the environment, three elements should be used during the investment: planning, digitalization and automation.
After discussion panels and speeches abounding in interesting exchanges of opinions and a huge amount of substantive knowledge, the time has come for the main point of the day. It was the evening gala of “Infrastructure and Construction Diamonds”, i.e. statuettes which aim to reward companies and people who stand out from the industry with their actions and achievements. This year, as many as 20 statuettes were awarded in 9 categories, among others: “Infrastructure and Construction Diamonds”: The implementation of the Year in cubature construction, road and railway infrastructure, as well as Technology Leader, Safety Leader or Sustainable Development Leader.