Chemical and food industry, as well as a broadly defined construction sector are the main sectors of the economy in the Opolskie Province. The expansion of Opole Power Plant - the largest industrial investment in the free Poland implemented since February 2014 – will help the region to become a giant in the energy industry.
Analyzes conducted for the Opolskie Investor and Exporter Assistance Centre (Polish acronym COIE) show that the economy of the region is characterized by a diversified structure. The most important industries that exist in the Opole region include the food, chemical, energy, cement and lime, metal, furniture and woodworking industries. COIE indicated that the major industrial centers in the region are Opole (including food, metal industries), Kędzierzyn-Koźle (chemical industry), Brzeg (food industry), Nysa (food and automotive industries) and Kluczbork (metal industry).
The Center also reported that the largest companies in the region include, among others, Opole Power Plant; Polaris Poland, a manufacturer of ATV; Górażdże-Heidelberg, leader in the field of cement and aggregates; world famous food brand Danone-Nutricia, Zott and Mondelēz International; Velux, giant in the manufacture of windows; Marcegaglia, producer of precision welded carbon steel pipes; Adient, leader in the production of systems for intelligent buildings, interior systems and automotive batteries or one of the most modern coking plant in Europe, operating in Zdzieszowice as a part of the steel holding ArcelorMittal Poland.
New projects, which have recently been or will be realized in the region, are the investments of Polaris Poland, Mondelez, Donaldson, Mubea, IFA Rotorion, Gustaw Wolf, Hongbo, Skamol, IAC, UFI Filters, TitanX, Umicore, Dies&Eng., Aquila, Metsa Tissue.
The Investor and Exporter Assistance Centre in Opolskie also reported that the research among the entrepreneurs conducted by the Technical University of Opole shows that the most important factors that influenced the choice of The Opolskie Province as a place to do business were: labor costs, availability of skilled workers, land prices, geographical location of the region, municipal infrastructure and existing production base.
Strategic documents of the Opolskie Province developed for the period up to 2020 emphasize that the distinguishing feature of the Opolskie Region is a highly developed industry, generating 30.7 percent gross value added in the region (national average 23.9 percent). The high degree of industrial development in the Opolskie Province is considered one of the strengths of the region. An additional advantage - as recorded in Opolskie strategies - is also a high position of Opolskie agriculture. It consists, among others, of optimal conditions for crop production, modern agricultural practices, good equipment with technical means of production, as well as the favorable natural and soil conditions, which are the basis for intensive agricultural production.
According to the records of the Regional Innovation Strategy of the Opolskie Province, the food industry has the highest share in regional production (16.2 percent). A particularly important role is played by the dairy production, fruit and vegetable processing, production of bakery and confectionery products and sugar production. Important contribution to the production of the region has also the chemical industry, which is based on the production of basic chemicals, and less of household chemicals. The share of the production of chemicals and chemical products in the total industrial production sold is 14.9 percent.
The third section – due to the share in the industrial production sold - is the production of non-metallic mineral products (12.3 percent). Particularly important are cement and lime industry, production of concrete and plaster, as well as the manufacture of glass and glass products. Metal industry also plays a significant role.
While describing more broadly the most important sectors of the local economy, it should be mentioned that the chemical industry has a long tradition in the region. Its development is supported by low production cost, availability of qualified staff and R&D facilities like a network of secondary and higher schools and sectors institutions (Technical University of Opole, Opole University, Institute of Heavy Organic Synthesis, “Blachownia” in Kędzierzyn - Koźle, Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials - Department of Building Materials Engineering in Opole, research Laboratory “Blachownia” Sp. z o.o. - Kędzierzyn - Koźle).
The data of the Opolskie Centre for Economy Development (OCRG) shows that the most important companies in the chemical sector in the Opole province are: ZAK SA belonging to Azoty Group; Petrochemia-Blachownia SA in Kędzierzyn-Koźle; ArcelorMittal Poland Zdzieszowice, “Intersilesia McBride” Polska Sp. z o.o. in Strzelce Opolskie; Brenntag Polska Sp. z o.o in Kędzierzyn-Koźle; Global Colors Polska SA Kędzierzyn-Koźle and ICSO Chemical Production Sp. z o.o. also in Kędzierzyn-Koźle.
According to the OCRG analyzes, the food sector development in the Opolskie province, in turn, is fostered by favorable climatic advantages of the region; high quality soil conducive to agricultural production; natural topography; as well as a large number of suppliers and a large, rapidly growing and ready, several million market (Centre’s calculations show that several million people live in a radius of 100 km from Opole, including Lower Silesia and the Silesian province).
According to OCRG, the most important companies in the food sector in the Opole region are Danone (Nutricia) in Opole; Mondelēz in Skarbimierz; Nestle Poland in Namysłów; ZT Kruszwica (BUNGE Ltd) in Brzeg; ZOTT Poland in Opole; GoodMills Poland in Walce; Südzucker in Polska Cerekwia; Toska (Bongrain) in Głubczyce; OSM Głubczyce; Młyny Polskie in Kluczbork; Intersnack or Bioagra in Nysa; ZPC Otmuchów/ODRA - Otmuchów and Brzeg; Karol Kania and Sons in Pawłowiczki; Namysłów Brewery; Głubczyce Brewery; ZPC Otmuchów, producer of sweet and salty snacks and cereals; Cukry Nyskie; OSM Prudnik; TopFarms Głubczyce, AgroAs Grodków; Lesaffre Wołczyn, as well as new players in the market – PastaFood, producer of chilled lasagna from Opole.
There are also many construction companies in the Opolskie Region. The industry simply could not develop in the region - at least because of 209 documented mineral deposits, as reported OCRG: carbonate, natural sand and gravel aggregates, limestone and marl, ceramic clays, quartz, molding and flooring sands. There are also rich natural resources in the Opole region, and consequently - as highlighted in the Centre’s materials - the dominant position of non-metallic mineral industry: glass, cement, lime, gypsum or aggregates. The region is also developing specialized vocational education; there are universities, research centers and institutes.
The most important companies in the sector include Heidelberg Cement - Górażdże Cement SA; Miebach Projektgesellschaft – Cement plant “Odra” SA in Opole, Lhoist Opolwap SA in Tarnów Opolski; Knauf - Norgips Poland in Brzezia; Monier Poland Sp. z o.o. in Opole; Global Colors Poland in Kędzierzyn-Koźle; Velux in Namysłów; Bazalt Gracze; Stora - Enso or Vitroterm in Murów; Kronospan in Strzelce Opolskie; Schattdecor Sp. z o.o. in Głucholazy; Izobud in Leśnica.
The largest investment currently carried out in the region and in the country is the expansion of the Opole Power Plant, worth PLN11.6 billion. It is implemented since February 2014 by a consortium of Rafako, Polimex-Mostostal, Mostostal Warszawa and Alstom Power. Under the terms of the contract, unit No. 5 will be commissioned in the third quarter of 2018, and the unit No. 6 in the first quarter of 2019.
Opole power plant is expanded with two new coal blocks with a total capacity of 1,800 megawatts. According to the Investor and Exporter Assistance Centre in Opole, this amount could cover the construction of six National Stadiums, or 370 km of highways. Blocks No. 5 and 6 will be built in the EPC formula (Engineering, Procurement, Construction - design, supply, construction, start-up, commissioning, and service during the warranty period). It will comply with all national and EU environmental standards. The high efficiency allows operation with low CO2 emissions and competitive fuel costs.
The Opolskie Province has also ambitions to become a region of innovation. As stated in the Regional Strategy for the Opolskie Province by 2020, the results of the European Commission study on innovation indicate that the region belongs to the poor innovators. However, the same strategy also cites the results of national surveys that somewhat differently determine the level of innovation in the region and classify it among those with a medium level of innovation. In the quoted classification, the Opolskie province is ranked ninth in terms of overall innovation index, having, after all, the small potential of innovative resources. However, it will use it effectively.
At the same time, the Opolskie innovation strategy recognizes that despite the statistically low innovation indicators of the local economy, many innovators are active in the region. Regional innovation center is located in two places: Opole and Kędzierzyn-Koźle, where the research and development as well as most of the activities of intermediary institutions are concentrated.
It is worth noting that in the course of work carried out recently on the identification of the so-called smart specialization in the Opolskie Region, which are intended to provide a competitive advantage – there were identified 25 most innovative companies in the region. The ranking was created based on statements of companies benefiting from grants for innovation and companies who won such awards as Opole Brand or Gazele Biznesu.
Among the companies mentioned in the ranking were: Galmet Sp. z o.o., producer of solar panels, central heating boilers and heat pumps; Chespa Sp. z o.o. offering photopolymer plates, dies, graphic paints, also engaged in graphic design; Nowoczesne Technologie Produkcji SA (modern production technologies), which is engaged in manufacturing of pressure castings of magnesium and aluminum; Stegu Sp. z o.o., manufacturer of high quality decorative stone; Eurosystem Poland Sp. z o.o providing materials that complement the systems used in residential, finishing or industrial construction, and Confectionery Plant Otmuchów SA, manufacturer of sweets and cereals.
Noteworthy are also companies not included in this ranking, but dealing with highly innovative production. These include for example, Explomet that uses explosive metalworking technique on an industrial scale and MovieBird offering modern camera cranes and telescopic boom arms used by Polish and international film and TV producers. Opole brands include also Itaka Travel Agency, well known among globetrotters and lovers of good rest from all over the country and Sindbad Travel Agency offering regular transportation throughout Europe.
The Regional Innovation Strategy also lists those smart specializations that are to be the direction for development of the Opolskie Province. They are defined after establishing exceptional qualities and assets of the region and on the basis of its competitive advantages. The Opole smart specializations include: preparation and processing of polymeric materials; chemical products manufactured on the basis of renewable raw materials; specialty chemicals; organic chemical technologies; low-energy building technologies; cement, lime, concrete and wood technologies; powertrain technologies; design and manufacturing of machinery and equipment; metals technologies; energy generation technologies; engine technologies; high-voltage technologies; crop production technologies or food production and processing technologies, in particular milk processing.
COIE in Opolskie also pointed out that describing the economy of the region, we cannot forget about the export and import of Opolskie companies. The leading export industry of the region is the chemical industry (mainly organic chemicals and fertilizers), and an example of an active exporter is a nitrogen plant Zakłady Azotowe SA in Kędzierzyn-Koźle, ranked among 100 largest Polish exporters.
The other most significant exporting industries of the region - as reported COIE – are mineral fuels industry (including mineral fuels, bituminous substances, mineral waxes), engineering (including machinery, mechanical and electrical appliances, no rail vehicles) and agricultural and food sector (including preparations of cereals, flour, milk, breads, pastries and other food).
Leading import industries in the province include mineral fuels, chemicals, mechanical machinery, electrical machinery and plastics.
International exchange is conducted in many markets. Almost half of the value of exports from the region falls on the German economy. Most of the exporters send their products to Germany (300) and to the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria and the Netherlands. Total assets are exported to more than a hundred countries.
Sector folders : http://coi.opolskie.pl/en/publications-and-reports/