Konin East Industrial Park shows that new industrial zones in Poland can be green and meet 21st century challenges

Hillwood Konin

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There are very few investment areas of over 100 ha in Poland which are not infrastructural deserts. Most of the large parcels available on the market are agricultural land that have not been developed in terms of road and technical infrastructure, which are key aspects for large investments in industries such as automotive or electromobility.

International manufacturing companies wishing to carry out multi-million investments in Poland search for plots of land that would be able to meet the requirements of their planned business activity (within a few months from the start of initial discussions). Land, where investors can develop their business almost immediately, is still a rarity in Poland. For example, Polish electric car manufacturer, Izera, searched for years until it found a suitable location for its factory. The Polish Investment and Trade Agency announced that the construction is to start this year in Jaworzno, Silesia.

In practice, if an investor knows too little about a site, and furthermore knows that it would take months to gather the necessary data, their attention turns to other plots of land which are already developed and have full technical and legal documentation. Unfortunately, these locations are often situated outside of Poland. Verifying a plot’s feasibility in terms of providing an electrical supply (100MW +) or the water needed on an industrial scale, may take more than a year. This process may also involve many other institutions and companies at a high level, which can further delay the ‘green light’ for a project. However, the growing number of inquiries regarding large-scale industrial sites has influenced local authorities and landowners to start thinking ahead and conducting land development activities. An illustration of this proactiveness is the creation of Konin East Industrial Park. The project involved collaboration between the Stare Miasto commune, the city of Konin, as well as the Łódź Special Economic Zone and Hillwood company, a leading industrial developer. This cooperation led to the preparation of an investment area, fully prepared for infrastructurally demanding investors, of just under 150 ha. Furthermore, a photovoltaic farm with a capacity of 180 MW is being constructed in the area, comments Marta Staśkowska, Land Development Manager at JLL.

New things are coming to Konin

The Stare Miasto district is well-accessible by both road and rail. This location, which is increasingly popular among international companies, is situated in the main East-West transport corridor, close to two A2 motorway junctions (Konin East and Modła) and national roads. As far as the rail is concerned, the location is close range from the intermodal terminal in Konin, part of the TENT Rail Line, giving investors the opportunity to develop a pan-European network.

“Our region is undoubtedly distinguished by the competitiveness of its investment land. These areas offer excellent transport infrastructure. We have also created a business-friendly climate. We have set up a working group consisting of representatives of public institutions and private companies, the aim of which is to prepare plots for large investments in such a way as to be able to respond effectively to the needs and requirements of potential investors, both domestic and foreign. The Industrial Park ensures the possibility of constructing objects up to 40 meters high and offers access to 175 MW of electricity and 275 m3/h of water. Other advantages are the proximity of modernized road infrastructure in the park’s vicinity as well as the settlement of formal and legal issues, resulting in obtained permits, which clears the way for the launch of construction works this spring”, comments Dariusz Puchała, head of Stare Miasto commune near Konin.

Cooperation as the key to success

“Another important aspect is the support from the local authorities as well as tax exemptions and government grants which future investors may count on. The involvement of many parties has allowed Stare Miasto to be one of the few communes in Poland, to offer fully developed land that is intended for strategic industrial activities”, adds Dariusz Puchała, head of Stare Miasto commune near Konin.

Reskilling workers in the region

Although the Konin coal mine will close, workers will have an opportunity to retrain and become specialists in the expanding field of renewable energy. This ‘green energy’ transformation represents a real economic opportunity for Konin, local communities, and new investors.

“Environmental factors being considered in the decisions of tenants and property owners is no longer the exception but is most definitely the rule. In the vicinity of the land prepared for warehouse and production development in Stare Miasto, there will be a photovoltaic farm that will generate 180 MW acquired from renewable energy sources providing resources for the industrial park’s users. It is also worth noting that Konin is successfully implementing an energy neutrality strategy that will allow Konin to become the first energy-neutral city in Poland. One of the important elements in the city’s strategy is zero-emission public transport. The launch of a municipal hydrogen filling station is planned for later this year. Furthermore, a plant producing green hydrogen on an industrial scale will be launched in the next few years. This allows for the development of a transport fleet powered by alternative fuel. These are important factors for international brands looking for new environmentally sustainable locations, which are tailor-made and built in the BTS/BTO formula. To meet investors’ expectations, we are able to deliver dedicated facilities that are designed and constructed exclusively for their business needs and powered by renewable energy”, explains Piotr Łada, Hillwood Polska.

Source: JLL

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