TRENTINO SVILUPPO

Investments and Incentives

April 28, 2015

Whirpool: public call to attract industrialisation projects

( Source: Trentino Sviluppo )

Priorities for technological investment and employment

Whirpool Industrial Complex

The public call for tender in relation to reindustrialisation projects for the “former Whirlpool” complex in Spini di Gardolo is available online at the portal of Trentino Sviluppo. It is a “call” at international level, already sent to the Official Journal of the Italian Republic, but which will also be published in international newspapers such as the Financial Times, Les Échos, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Der Standard. The Autonomous Province of Trento and Trentino Sviluppo thus intend to exploit the intense work that has taken place in the last few months with the scope of looking for alternative activities interested in taking over the complex, following the closure of Whirlpool last August and the handing over of the property a couple of months ago. Companies interested in starting up production at the complex in Spini di Gardolo will be assisted with measures comprising a “package” of incentives, assistance and tax advantages, as well favourable conditions for the use of the property, which will remain under the ownership of Trentino Sviluppo, thus transforming a limitation, given the extensive size of the industrial site, into an opportunity. The new industrial group will have 12 months to start up production activities and must hire at least 150 workers in the first year, to arrive at 250 employees when fully operational, and must also invest no less than 25 million euro in machinery and production lines.

The “former Whirlpool” production site in Trento has an overall surface area of more than 140 thousand square metres. The site is of a very significant size, with several buildings and covered areas over more than 72 thousand square metres, which in the negotiations carried out by the Province and Trentino Sviluppo was shown to be decidedly demanding for the industrial groups interested in starting up production in Trentino.

Now, two months after the property was made available, on conclusion of the process of handing over the Whirlpool site to Trentino Sviluppo, the Autonomous Province of Trento’s strategy for the property is intended to transform this limitation into an opportunity, Indeed, the area will not be ceded, as it is also believed to be strategic for the development of urban planning, and rental also remains a second choice, whereas the solution favoured is the granting of usufruct rights.
In this way the industrial group choosing to station itself at the complex will not need to make extensive investment in the property in the start-up phase, risking exhausting its financial resources in preparing the “container”, and can instead concentrate on the “content”, namely on the investment in industrial and employment terms. In other words, the property will no longer be an “encumbrance”, a wall at the very beginning, but rather an attraction, a key strategy for investing in future production in an area representing part of Trentino’s history of industrialisation.

This is the powerful and partly new concept behind the legal solution identified, which is the basis of the invitation to tender published today, on Monday 20 April. The action also officialises the passage from a phase of negotiations “in progress”, carried out while awaiting the full availability of the complex, to the moment in which Trentino Sviluppo intends to conclude the procedure with the contacts made to date, accelerate the process and open up to dialogue at international level, in search of the best possible industrial proposal.

The overall area will thus remain public property. The site will be made available to the new industrial activity, preferably through the granting of usufruct rights, or through standard rental agreements. Usufruct rights will be granted for a period of between 20 and 30 years to the best market value offered, whereas standard rental must be proposed for a duration of at least 6 years, with the right to renew for a further 6 years and the Trentino Sviluppo’s commitment to further subsequent renewal.
Companies interested in the complex must undertake to respect certain specific limitations of an economic and social nature, dictated by the specific context of occupational conversion:
− the obligation to start up business activities within 12 months of stipulating the standard rental contract or the granting of usufruct rights;
− an undertaking to make investment in production (general and specific plant, machinery and production equipment) for at least 25 million euro in the 7 years after the starting up of activities;
− the obligation to hire at least 150 annual workers at the former Whirlpool complex within 1 year of starting up activities, with the undertaking, when hiring, to give priority to personnel previously employed at the Whirlpool Europe complex and still in search of employment. The number of employed must rise by a further 50 units within 3 years of starting up activities – maintaining at least 200 jobs for the subsequent 2 years – to arrive at a minimum of 250 annual workers within 7 years, with the obligation to maintain this level for the following 5 years;
− an undertaking to ensure constant research and development activities, technological innovation and to pay attention to the environmental sustainability of production.

Furthermore, close attention to promoting youth employment is requested, over and beyond the hiring resulting from the reuse of former Whirlpool employees and staff with the necessary long-term experience.

Both individual companies and temporary groups or consortia of companies can present their offer for use of the site, by the deadline indicated in the “call”, established as 19 June 2015. The full version of the call for tender is available at the portal of Trentino Sviluppo at the following address: www.trentinosviluppo.it.

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