New milestone towards creation of Małaszewicze Logistics Park
Małaszewicze, located on the border with Belarus, is famous in Poland for many reasons, mainly because of the fact that approximately 90 per cent of goods imported by rail from China to Europe is transhipped here. Currently, much has also been said in the context of the state of emergency introduced on the border.
The Małaszewicze Reloading Region is managed by Cargotor, a part of PKP Cargo. As Andrzej Sokolewicz, the company’s CEO, emphasises, the introduction of the state of emergency on the border with Belarus did not affect the work of Małaszewicze, which is of key importance for trade with the East. “The tracks and terminals are in the immediate vicinity but not the part of the emergency zone. There are bridges on the Bug in the zone, but traffic on them is ongoing,” he points out.
Commitment and help
The company does everything to ensure that this unique place on the New Silk Road is managed equally effectively during the state of emergency and outside it. Importantly, Cargotor, through its membership in the “Łączy Nas Granica” Association (‘Border connects us’ in Polish), supports families and officers of the Border Guard. “The association is an environmental organisation uniting officers, former officers, employees and fans of the Border Guard, as well as members of their families and supporters. The aim of the association is to help seriously ill people in the field of psychological support and to bear the costs of treatment and rehabilitation,” says Andrzej Sokolewicz.
Cooperation with Railway Technical School
Since March 2019, the Cargotor company has also been cooperating with the Railway Technical School, which is part of the Władysław Stanisław Reymont School Complex (Zespół Szkół im. Władysław Stanisław Reymont) in Małaszewicze. Cargotor’s scholarship holders are students of classes in the following fields: railway traffic control automation specialist and railway transport specialist. The first two best scholarship holders to graduate last year joined the group of employees of the company on 1 July 2020.
This year, the company hired more scholarship holders and – as its management board emphasises – also graduates of technical secondary schools who are not scholarship holders are employed every year. Thus, 20 graduates of the Railway Technical School have already started work at Cargotor since the contract was signed. “The scholarship program is still ongoing, and recruiting staff in this way is still a priority for the company, that’s why we are starting cooperation with other schools educating future automation specialists who, after the completion of the Logistics Park in Małaszewicze, will be one of the most numerous professional groups among the Cargotor employees,” comments the company’s CEO Andrzej Sokolewicz.
Issuing MLP’s building permit
On 30 September of the current year, Cargotor received a building permit for the Małaszewicze Logistics Park (MLP). “With a deep sense of responsibility for the development of the eastern part of our country and providing equal opportunities in its development and modernisation, I am happy to accept the decision of the Lublin Voivode regarding the building permit. This is another step towards the further strengthening of the Polish State in the areas constituting the state border and the external border of the European Union,” comments Andrzej Sokolewicz.
According to Cargotor’s CEO, the building permit opens the door for the company to further implement the project and provides grounds for submitting an application to the European Commission for its financing and for announcing a tender for the detailed design and construction works. The application assumes that the design works will start next year, and the construction works will start at the beginning of 2023. The Małaszewicze Logistics Park will be put into operation at the turn of 2027/2028. “I am aware that some people think that this is a distant investment deadline, but the real challenge for us will be to ensure that Małaszewicze, during the construction works, will work without disruptions for freight traffic at a level similar to today’s,” says Mr Sokolewicz.
One of the challenges will be to obtain by the company full financing of the project, i.e. the domestic contribution. The CEO of Cargotor assures that this “financial engineering”, difficult for several reasons, will be completed this year.
“The issuance of a building permit is a milestone in preparations for the creation of a Logistics Park in Małaszewicze. PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe (PKP PLK) and the Cargotor company are ready to start field work. We are determined to complete this extremely important investment for the Polish economy and Eastern Poland,” said Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Bittel.
Funding MLP investments
The estimated cost for the construction of the Małaszewicze Logistics Park amounts to 3.25 billion złoty netto in current prices (around 708 million euros). The European Commission has already announced a pre-call for funding applications. The application must be submitted to Poland’s Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy by 1 December 2021 and then submitted to the European Commission by 19 January 2022. “We have already developed the application with the help of one of the world’s largest consulting companies,” emphasises Andrzej Sokolewicz. In the application, it is necessary to indicate the sources of financing for the remaining part of the investment. These funds are to come from the Polish budget. The appropriate multi-annual financing program requires a resolution of the Council of Ministers, which will hopefully be adopted soon.