Transformation of coal mine manufactory infrastructure to the new Innovative production of railway freight car bogies
Region of Upper Nitra in Slovakia was for many years known for its dependence on the coal mining industry. Depletion of coal mines reserves, lack of profitability and competitiveness as well as environmental request of the EU lead to their closure not only in Slovakia, but within the whole union. For this reason, Action plan for the transformation of the coal region of Upper Nitra have been developed, with the financial support by European Commission (Structural Reform Support) defining the new opportunities for the regional economy.
The first partial transformation was done in 1981, when the mine “Cígeľ” was closed and the new company “Mining mechanization and electrification Nováky” was founded and today produce construction machinery and transport equipment for the whole European market.
Today, approximately 200 km from Nováky, a national company with almost 100-year engineering history is located– TATRAVAGÓNKA, which manufactures more than 130 000 freight wagons (approximately 1 800 km) in almost 100 different design executions and approximately 400 000 bogies per year.
According to the joint effort of two new partners, Upper Nitra mines Prievidza and TATRAVAGÓNKA, the new idea of Innovative production of railway freight car bogies, including research and development, has been developed and is planned to by applied thanks to the support by European Commission via Structural Reform Support.
Overall expected budget: 100 000 000 EUR
The investment is planned to be covered partially by EU Funds - The Just Transition Mechanism. The possibility to raise the financing rate from 20-25% to the needed 50% is currently discussed between the government of the Slovak republic and EU Commission.
Evidence of success
The planned project will create 800 new jobs, while 500 people will be working for the new joint company (200 people working in the coal mines will be re-educated and 300 new workers will be hired) and additional 300 new jobs will be provided by created supply chains.
The raise of competitiveness and innovation potential is expected, which will support regional economic development.
Potential for learning or transfer
European regions today face the challenge of the regional transformation. New opportunities are sought out and this case study can be valuable inspiration how should the process of economy transformation on the regional level be planned, including not only developing technical infrastructure, but also new skills for workers changing their job due the structural industrial changes.
Regional transformation is often leading to the strategic goals changing by local companies, which is naturally critical and sensitive topic for employers, as well as employees. Action plan developed with all quadruple helix stakeholders can be provided as good practise of the co-created development plan, by using opportunities provided by European Commission. Thanks to that it was significantly easier to perform long-term preparation process, enabling us to identify the needs and requirements of all stakeholders and reflect to the specific local aspects.