Protest of airmen and pilots from all over the Czech Republic against the considered demolition of the reserve army airport Líně, where a factory for batteries for electric cars is to be located, November 15, 2022 Líně.
Plzeň – The city of Pilsen calculated the impact that the construction of the Volkswagen factory for the production of batteries for electric cars in Líny would have on the city at 12 billion crowns. Of this, for example, transport projects represent four billion crowns. The management of the town hall, which continues to refuse the construction, informed the Czech government about it. It also gave the ministers a list of necessary compensation projects that, according to Pilsen, would have to be created if the state pushed through the project despite the city's disapproval. Mayor Roman Zarzycký (ANO) repeated in a press release that the gigafactory project is not suitable for the region, it is unprepared and the government wants to force it through.
“We are intensively negotiating the project with all the affected municipalities and we managed to achieve many concessions in their favor from the investor. Negotiations on reasonable demands will continue,” responded Vojtěch Srnka, spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The government wants the VW factory for CZK 120 billion. He considers the possible investment to be crucial for the transformation of the Czech car industry. VW is to announce by June whether it will choose Líne, Poland, Slovakia or Hungary. He would like to start construction at the end of 2024 and produce cells for batteries from 2027 to 2028. The cabinet has identified key constructions in the location that would not have been created without the gigafactory, and is ready to spend nine billion crowns on them.
“Just a few weeks ago, it was the case that Volkswagen would decide by the end of March whether it wanted a factory in the Czech Republic at all. Now we learn from the media that it will decide in June. Preparing such a large-scale investment using the salami method is unacceptable to us,” said the mayor. The chairman of the board of Škoda Auto, Klaus Zellmer, told journalists this week that the Volkswagen concern will probably need more time to make a final decision on the location for the upcoming factory. He justified this by possibly taking into account the changes in the new package of support measures in the Green Deal program that he is planning in Europe. Škoda Auto representative Michal Kadera said on Wednesday that the concern should make a decision at the beginning of summer, around June.
The city wants to be prepared for all possible scenarios. According to Zarzycký, the list of compensation measures was handed over to ministers on February 15 at the Government Office. According to the technical deputy of the mayor, Pavel Bosák (Piráti), the construction of the factory would affect the infrastructure and increase the demands on civic amenities and services. Deputy Minister for Transport and the Environment Aleš Tolar (STAN) estimated the cost of transport projects at almost four billion crowns.
“The possible establishment of a gigafactory would bring a higher burden on communications not only in the surroundings, but also within the city and new requirements for public transport. For example, it would be necessary to build a new connection from Líní to Pilsen via a route for rechargeable trolleybuses and a new communication from Valchy to Borská pole,” he said Tolar. Furthermore, according to him, it would be necessary to increase the capacity of intersections in the city, for example at Makro on Borské polý, on Belánka, where the most frequented streets of the city – Klatovská and U Trati under Chodský náměstím cross. At the same time, according to Tolar, it would be necessary to increase the capacity to connect the Slovana and Bora districts by widening the road in Samaritská street plus building a level crossing over the railway.
The city estimated the costs of the water management infrastructure at 1.3 billion CZK. According to the management of the town hall, with the construction of the factory, it would also be necessary to deal with the accommodation of workers, the strengthening of security and the availability of medical care. “A new kindergarten and school would have to be built, around 2,000 apartments should be built, a health center should be provided, a new city police station should be built and more,” said city spokeswoman Eva Barborková. The costs of compensation in the environment were estimated by the city authorities at more than 120 million crowns. We also perceive the need to invest in the development of innovative companies, support of start-ups, so that Pilsen develops as a city with added value, added.
According to the spokesperson, the city council follows the decision of the November council, according to which it must inform the government of the Czech Republic and to publicly proclaim that, based on current and available information, Pilsen does not agree with the conclusions of the government's resolution of October 19, 2022.