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The Solidarity Transfer Hub (STH) project granted 300,000,000 PLN in additional government funding

The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has issued a decision to grant the STH enterprise additional funding in the amount of 300,000,000 PLN as a result of the State Treasury’s acquisition of additional shares in the enterprise. “The government believes that the STH is not only a project of strategic importance for Poland’s development, but also a good investment,” said Mikołaj Wild, a Government Representative for the Construction of the STH.

The STH enterprise applied to the Chancellery of the Prime Minister for recapitalisation on the 24th of June of this year. As a result, the relevant contracts for investment and acquisition of shares by the State Treasury were made. Prior to this, the application received a positive assessment from institutions such as the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection and the Office of the Attorney General of the Treasury. “All of these efforts were necessary to ensure that the transaction was made on market terms and to guarantee the utmost protection of the interests of the State Treasury,” explained Mikołaj Wild, a Government Representative for the Construction of the STH.

A relevant government regulation was required in order to enable the enterprise to apply for recapitalisation. The Minister of Finance signed the regulation on the 18th of June of this year, pursuant to provisions of the State-Owned Property Management Act. According to provisions of this act, shares or rights based on shares in the STH enterprise owned by the State Treasury cannot be disposed of.

Recapitalisation of the STH is excellent news for this project that is so important to Poland. The amount of 300,000,000 PLN will enable the STH enterprise to continue its operations; including by obtaining the arrangements, analyses and documents required to design and construct both the airport and associated railway lines

said Michał Wrona, a member of the Board of Directors of the STH responsible for financial matters.

Plans of the STH enterprise for the near future include updating the analyses that precede the stage of arrangements concerning environmental issues and the location of the project as well as the project design stage as part of the STH Railway Programme in regards to the Warsaw – STH – Łódź – Poznań/Wrocław high-speed railway line – preparations for the construction of this line were already underway but were suspended in 2011.

Over the past few days, the STH enterprise has opened a tendering procedure for an environmental survey to be prepared under a framework agreement in respect of so-called spokes i.e. tasks undertaken as part of the STH Railway Programme.

These procedures are the first of several tendering procedures for the implementation of railway capital works projects which could be funded under the EU’s current perspective. We are also planning to open tendering procedures in respect of geological surveys

said Piotr Malepszak, acting CEO of the STH responsible for the railway component of the project.

Strategic consultations in respect of the airport component of STH are ongoing. The Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) – set up by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in collaboration with the STH and comprising representatives of airlines who intend to use the prospective airport – commenced its operations yesterday.

Plans for the coming months include choosing a strategic partner – an international entity with experience in implementing projects involving the design, construction and management of transfer hubs. The consultant will be tasked with cooperating with the enterprise on an ongoing basis and providing expert support during every stage of the implementation of the project.

The enterprise is preparing to commission a general (master) plan for the STH at the start of the coming year which will specify such matters as the projected development of the airport beyond the 10-year horizon, the estimated levels of air traffic, detailed dimensioning of the planned infrastructure, staging of the construction works and a detailed business model of the project.

The Social Council will continue its work as a platform of collaboration and communication between the STH enterprise and a Government Representative for the STH on one hand, and the local community (inhabitants of the municipalities of Baranów, Teresin and Wiskitki) on the other. The first meeting of the council took place on the 26th of June of this year.

Another task on the agenda is to secure replacement real properties of various types among the real properties owned by the State Treasury that will meet the needs of residents inhabiting the project area. Identification and analysis of properties managed by institutions such as the State Forest Authority, National Agricultural Support Centre, Military Property Agency and the National Property Resource is currently underway.

The STH’s share capital previously amounted to 10,000,000 PLN. The funds were expended on items such as creating aspecial purpose vehicle and mobilising it, and on hiring employees e.g. to work on the railway and airport components. The above amount was also used to fund such undertakings as preparing a preliminary concept of the airport (specifying more than 120 components of airport infrastructure), commencing strategic consultations between the STH and industry partners (infrastructure administrators, utility providers, etc.), dividing capital work-related tasks between the STH and PKP PLK as part of the STH Railway Programme (the so-called 10 spokes), commencing Regional Strategic Consultations regarding the route of the Warsaw – STH – Łódź – Poznań/Wrocław railway line and launching the activities of the Social Council.

The airport component of the STH project passed the Private Investor Test (PIT), which was carried out by one of the big four consulting companies. The document specified such aspects as the basic parameters of the project and verified economic arguments in favour of the project. The results of the test showed that the construction of the STH would be profitable for a potential private investor – the expected rate of return exceeded 10%. The PIT shows that construction of the STH is economically viable and proves its profitability from the point of view of a potential private investor.

The STH enterprise will allow for the partial funding of the airport component of the STH by both financial investors (such as investment funds, retirement funds, insurance companies) as well as industry investors (e.g. airport operators or infrastructural funds). The railway component will be funded from the state budget and EU funds, for example under the CEF Programme.

According to a report drawn up by PwC in April of this year, the growth potential of the Polish airline market is one of the largest in Europe and the construction of a hub near Warsaw is viable based on factors such as the projected traffic and expected rate of return. According to an analysis by Baker McKenzie and Polityka Insight from May of this year, the construction of the STH may result in a growth of Poland’s GDP by 4% to 7%.

According to estimates from the Ministry of Infrastructure, construction of the STH will create a total of nearly 150,000 jobs, including 40,000 in the immediate vicinity of the transport hub and approximately 110,000 in industries related to the project.

Mikołaj Wild Piotr Malepszak Michał Wrona Program Kolejowy CPK Solidarity Transport Hub Poland Press release