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 Hal 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 Hal 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 Hal Farrug 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 Hal Far, Bulebel, Marsa, Kordin and San Gwann 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.
INDIS CEO 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.”
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INDIS Malta Ltd has launched an infrastructural investment programme carrying an investment exceeding €470 million with the aim of addressing not only the current shortages, but also the envisaged needs for the years to come, thereby future-proofing the industrial property solutions it can offer to prospective investors.
Previously known as Malta Industrial Parks Ltd (MIP), the company is responsible for the administration of the government-owned industrial estates and related facilities around the islands, as well as supporting and promoting their further development.
This infrastructural investment programme, which is the biggest one of its kind to ever take place in Malta, is one of the initiatives mentioned in Budget 2021 to spur economic growth, especially within the context of helping the country overcome the challenges brought about by the current pandemic.
Some of the major projects forming part of the programme include the expansion of the Malta Life Sciences Park to create additional space for the life sciences and other knowledge-intensive industries; the regeneration of the former Luqa dump, on the outskirts of the Marsa industrial estate; the upgrading of the Kordin Business Incubation Centre to facilitate the start-up phase for new businesses; as well as on various projects that will provide industrial space in multi-storey facilities.
The choice of the projects was based on studies that looked into the type of industry currently based in Malta, what else is being attracted, the demand being anticipated for the coming years, and what type of properties are required, thereby addressing the long-term needs of the country and prospective investors.
All have one common underlying principle: sustainability.
Indeed, they seek to make a more efficient use of the space available, implement measures to improve energy efficiency and generate clean energy, as well as incorporate several green initiatives that will make them more welcoming to the people that spend long hours working there as well as to the clients that visit them, recognizing the importance that the environment plays in our lives.
These will be further complemented by other services that will be introduced within certain industrial estates to further ameliorate their users’ experience, including through the development of administration buildings, childcare centres, health and fitness facilities, and parking areas, among others.