Last Updated on Thursday, 5 November, 2020 at 2:32 pm by Andre Camilleri
With this investment, the Government will be solving a problem of industrial space and we will offer more space for new businesses that will operate in a sustainable environment – Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela and Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri unveiled the details of the €470 million industrial infrastructure investment programme which is spread out over 8 years.
The Extension of the Life Sciences Park translates into an investment of €101 million aimed at hosting Life Sciences, technology related and other knowledge-intensive industries. This shall be extended over 30,000 sqm in five more blocks to house Research, Development and Innovation in Lifesciences. One of the blocks will house child minding facilities, a health and fitness centre and catering services.
The Rehabilitation of former Luqa Dump through an investment of €51 million will see a disused dump rehabilitated into a landscaped and safe semi-industrial and recreational area, as well as the creation of 85,000 sqm of prime developable land. “Moreover, this project with tangibly demonstrate the application of the circular economy concept, as it will turn construction and demolition waste into a new resource, the reconstituted stone on which evaluations have been long underway together with the studies carried out by the University of Malta, which have proved to be successful,” said Minister Schembri.
The Rebuilding of the Kordin Business Centre through an investment of €14 million shall create a new space for start-ups to operate. Spread over 10,000 sqm, the KBIC will be converted into a modern start-up facility.
Through an investment of €79.6 million the new industrial facilities in Ħal Far include;
- The creation of plots and supporting infrastructure for large, medium and small enterprise;
- Creation of SME parks for large, medium and small enterprise clusters;
- Creation of a consolidated storage facility in return freeing up various properties;
- Construction of various roads to create additional plots.
The new industrial Facilities are;
- Demolition of old factories and preparation of sites known as HHF 039/04/Aluminium Extrusions amounting to €6.4 million;
- Development of an SME park near the Flying Models Association, as well as the re-development of space released by vacated warehouses which amounts to €51.1 million
- The consolidation of a logistics facility for a major manufacturing company in Ħal Far, thus freeing up various scattered sites, and the creation of an overlying multilevel green infrastructural building which amount to €22 million;
- Construction of various roads to create additional plots, with an investment of €10.6 million.
Another project is the upgrade of Taxiway Lima through an investment of €5 million to accommodate wide-body aircraft, new services and MRO facilities. This shall be ready by the end of 2021.
The construction of a car park at MIA Park 4 in Ħal Farruġ through an investment of €5 million to accommodate neighbouring MRO facilities’ employees and enable further growth of aviation infrastructure.
An investment of €30 million in upgrading industrial road infrastructure in Ħal Far, Bulebel, Marsa, Kordin and San Ġwann Industrial Estates.
Lastly, Public Private Partnerships amounting to an investment of €15 million to develop new bespoke industrial properties and accommodate organised business clusters within a business-friendly environment.
Prime Minister Robert Abela promised that he will abide by his word of promoting a gray-to-green strategy. Gone are the days when local residents would be shocked to hear that industrial development will be taking place near them. “We need to make sure that the new facilities we are going to build are aesthetically pleasing and do not tarnish the quality of life of the residents,” said Dr Abela.
Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business Silvio Schembri gave thorough details on each project. He explained that the aim of the programme is to create new industrial space for businesses to operate and flourish, whilst allowing new business models to operate from our shores, therefore ensuring Malta’s competitive edge and its attractiveness for foreign direct investment, as well as aiding local companies to implement their projects.
In view of the fast pace at which the economy grew over the past years, our country was facing a challenge and difficulties in providing adequate spaces for new investment. As we speak, readily available built space is only 6,358 sqm, meaning only 4% of the demand arising from projects are approved or considered by Malta Enterprise. This in itself puts at risk curtailing economic growth and employment generation in coming years, explained Minister Schembri, while adding that taking into consideration direct, indirect and induced effects of such a scenario would result in loss of 6500 full time employment jobs.
“This unprecedented investment fully complements our economic vision as a government. €470 million to modernise our infrastructure, including the creation of 600,000 sqm of new industrial and environmentally-friendly space, which will not only accommodate new FDI, but will also create thousands of quality new jobs and provide better quality work spaces and environments and more importantly contribute to sustainable economic growth,” added Minister Schembri.
The rebranding of Malta Industrial Parks, now to be known as Industrial Innovative Solutions, was unveiled during the ceremony.
INDISCEO Executive Chief Karl Azzopardi commented, “Our vision since the very beginning has been to support investment through the continuous development and management of qualitative and sustainable industrial property solutions. Guided by various studies, we have embarked on this process in 2018, a process which reflects evolving nature of organization, oriented towards the future. The repositioning of organization has ultimately culminated in the launch of an infrastructural investment programme.”
INDIS Chairman Jean Pierre Attard said, “We will do our utmost to improve the industrial areas spread across Malta and Gozo; we want to offer a quality package to investors who want to set up shop in our country. Only in this way can we ensure that wealth and job opportunities continue to be created. The environment in which our workers spend long hours of their day must be improved and therefore, by extension, an improvement to their quality of life.”