Sunday, February 5

The Administration studies that Silence shares the Nissan land in the Free Zone with the ‘hub’

  • The firm of Catalan origin intended to manufacture a 100% electric two-seater quadricycle in Montcada i Reixac

Possible puzzle changes to find successor to factories Nissan in Catalonia. The reindustrialization commission – made up of the Ministry of Industry, the Generalitat, Nissan and the unions – meeting this Friday is assessing that the company Silence to be installed on the land of Free Zone and share them with the alliance of the electromobility ‘hub’ led by the consulting firm CEV. It is not an option that excites neither the Ministry of Industry nor the Generalitat, who would prefer that it continue in Montcada i Reixac -as was initially proposed-, but it is an option that is on the table in the face of problems with other land previously occupied by the manufacturer nippon.

Nissan leaves three industrial land in Catalonia. The largest of 517,000 square meters, in Zona Franca, near the dock, in a privileged position at a logistical level and owned by the Consorci de la Zona Franca. And then there are two auxiliary factories: one in Sant Andreu, owned by an individual, and another in Montcada i Reixac, owned by Nissan. And until now the conglomerate of companies that had to enter to succeed Nissan was the following: the ‘hub’ stayed in the Free Zone, pending final confirmation if it shared said land with more companies. Sant Andreu was also going to the ‘hub’, specifically one of its participants, Ebro, wanted to settle there to manufacture pick-ups. And in Montcada i Reixac Silence intended to settle, which had the most consolidated and advanced project.

However, sources familiar with reindustrialization explain that the owner of the Sant Andreu land has declined to remain linked to the commission and claims to have the interest of another project, also industrial, that wants to rent the land and settle there. What has forced the Administration, Nissan and the unions to recompose the map. Now two options open up: on the one hand, that the ‘hub’ be limited to Zona Franca and Silence in Montcada, or, on the other, activate a ‘plan B’. According to this, the ‘hub’ would keep a majority portion of the Free Zone and all of Montcada i Reixac. And Silence would be offered to remain linked to the process and would reserve a minority space of about 35,000 square meters (over 517,000 meters) in Barcelona. Several sources from both the Ministry of Industry and the ‘conselleria’ of Business are not in favor of activating this ‘plan B’, but they recognize that all scenarios are open.

The option that Silence will end up in the Free Zone was something that was initially handled by this firm recently compared by Acciona. Already in May 2020, he expressed his interest in the 517,000 square meters that Nissan was going to leave in the Catalan capital, as EL PERIÓDICO advanced, despite the fact that the introduction and addition of different actors a posteriori was relocating his project to the metropolitan suburbs . In terms of dimensions, according to sources familiar with reindustrialization, the 35,000 meters that the commission offers Silence would be similar to the dimensions of Montcada, with the addition that the works that Silence would need to do to settle would be smaller. However, those same sources also point out that from Silence they have not fit in well with the change of plans and that they insist on continuing with the Montcada option.

Logistics yes, but linked to the ‘hub’

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The final picture of how Nissan’s succession will look is not yet defined and the parties will meet again at the end of February. During this month Silence will have to finish deciding if he is interested in the ‘plan B’ that the table has offered him. And the ‘hub’ led by QEV will have to finish specifying the magnitude, feasibility and composition of its project. Currently, the consensus established between the Administration, unions and Nissan is that the ‘hub’ stay with just over 460,000 of the 517,000 square meters that Nissan leaves in the Free Zone and that within said space install a logistics project, which must be closely linked with the productive needs of the ‘hub’, although it will be necessary for it to form part of it commercially.

These lands are highly coveted by the logistics sector, which wants to set up its own facilities, but without industrial links. Several funds have already expressed their interest, such as the real estate group Goodman, JLL Y Merlin Properties.