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The Klaipeda FEZ is growing
By the end of this year, the Klaipeda Free Economic Zone Management Company has signed agreements with 2 new clients. Negotiations with two more clients have already been rounded off and the agreements with them are being harmonized. These are companies planning to carry out warehousing and logistics activities as well as producing energy and electric vehicles. There are 17 Lithuanian and foreign companies currently operating in the Klaipeda FEZ, while 6 more are under the process of establishment.
“Interest in the Klaipeda FEZ is growing. This year, we have attracted more than 70 potential investors from Norway, the USA, Russia, Finland, Denmark, China, Germany, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Belarus, as well as Lithuania”, said Povilas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Klaipeda FEZ Management Company.
During 10 years of operation, the amount of investment in the FEZ infrastructure coming from the European Union funds, the state and the municipality has reached LTL 45 million, but this only accounts for 2.8 percent of the total investments in the Klaipeda FEZ.
“According to our estimation, each hectare of developed territory in the Klaipeda FEZ has received LTL 150,000 in public investments. However, the global practice of the development of economic zones and industrial parks shows that normally, 1 hectare requires USD 1 million for the development of the engineering infrastructure. In our case, the state’s investments paid off as far back as 2004, while their value has increased almost tenfold, exceeding LTL 400 million today”, said P. Vasiliauskas.
2012 was a successful year for the FEZ companies. UAB Heidelberg Cement Klaipeda has launched production, and UAB Fortum Klaipeda has completed the construction of a new combined heat and power plant and is planning to start producing electrical and heat energy next year. UAB Vesvela started building a fish processing factory.
The year 2012 saw the completion of important infrastructural works in the Klaipeda FEZ: an 80 megawatt transformer substation has been equipped to ensure a reliable supply of electricity to the consumers living in the FEZ, the construction of two railway branch lines has been accomplished, a residents’ resettlement has been completed, the reconstruction of Švepelių street has been carried out, and the construction of the new Lypkių street has commenced.
From an environmental point of view, despite the intensive development of the Zone, the pollution in both the Zone and in the surrounding settlements is not increasing, and is considerably lower than the permissible levels. Furthermore, according to the data obtained from the study conducted in 2012, the pollution was slightly lower in comparison with the assessment results for the previous two years. This was stated in the annually performed assessment of environmental impact in the Klaipeda FEZ.
The total turnover of the companies operating in the Klaipeda FEZ has reached approximately LTL 3 billion, with exports accounting for 80 percent of this amount. The Klaipeda Free Economic Zone generates nearly 5.2 percent of the state’s total exports and 2.8 percent of the Lithuanian GDP. From the inception of the Klaipeda FEZ (in 2002), investments amounting to LTL 1.58 billion have been attracted to the Zone. The FEZ companies have manufactured products valued at 13 LTL billion, while the value of the exported products is LTL 10 billion. Over LTL 320 million of taxes have been paid to the state. As a result of the Klaipeda FEZ activities, other Lithuanian companies have received additional orders for more than LTL 1.7 billion.
“Figures show that over the last decade, the Klaipeda FEZ has become a very important part of the country’s economy. About 5000 new jobs have been created, just due to additional orders from the FEZ to other Lithuanian companies” said P. Vasiliauskas.
This year, international economic experts have selected the Klaipeda FEZ from 15,000 other leading European companies and nominated it for the “European Business Awards 2012” performance assessment for the sustainability of its activities and environmental protection.