Many companies from Saarland but also from other parts of Europe make good use of the offering of the EU-funded Masterplan. Just recently, the automotive supplier Braun CarTec, which presently still employs 172 people, has decided to build its new production facility on an 80,000 square meter surface on the attractive industrial area GI Lisdorfer Berg. An evidence that the provision of large industrial areas is necessary not only for companies from outside Saarland but also for local businesses. `We offer conveniently located surfaces near the border. These are clear locational advantages for companies, enabling them to serve the European markets quickly and efficiently. No wonder that the surfaces are sought after`, says Economics Minister Anke Rehlinger.
The following investors have already decided to get established on the GI Lisdorfer Berg: Helvetia Packaging, a producer of beverage packagings; Mewa Textil-Service, wanting to construct an industrial laundry; Lakal Rolladen und Tortechnik, a specialist for roller shutter and gate technology; S.U.M.M.A., specialized in steel building and prefabricated construction; Coatinc Becker, a galvanizing company, and now also the BraunCartec group. With a constructible area of roughly 100 hectars upon completion of the second building section in 2016 the GI Lisdorfer Berg is the largest industrial site offered under the Masterplan. 45 % of the surfaces have already been sold. Taken all four industrial areas together, the Masterplan provides a surface in the order of over 200 hectars.
Things are also progressing at the GI Am Zunderbaum near Homburg where the first building section will be finished in May this year. Already eight investors, most of them from the region, have decided to relocate there. Among these: the gardening and landscaping specialist Batz, the forwarding company Müller, the ambulance service provider Ambulanz Frisch, and the tube trading company Saros. Last but not least, also Creos (formerly Saar Ferngas) will move there. Via its own 1700 kilometers long utility grid, the company supplies Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate with natural gas. Presently still located in Saarbrücken, Creos, too, will move to the Saarpfalz-Kreis. About 65 % of the surfaces of the GI Am Zunderbaum have already been allocated.
The Masterplan responds to a continuously strong company demand for both large coherent areas and smaller surfaces that can be subdivided according to the investor´s needs. `There is much going on. And there are more concrete and promising inquiries that have reached us`, says Thomas Schuck, Managing Director of SHS subsidiary gwSaar which has been charged by the Saarland Government with the development and marketing of the Masterplan areas.
GEWISS, the information system on commercial areas in Saarland, provides an overview of all areas that are currently available to potential investors in Saarland. Last year, the online catalogue on commercial sites (www.gewiss-saarland.de) registered 14,000 visitors. The website provides a Saarland map on which the commercial areas are illustrated in different colours. Areas marked in grey are occupied, the blue ones are available within a relatively short period of time. Green is used for areas available in four to twelve months, and yellow stands for longer waiting periods. For the time being, 246 commercial or industrial sites with a total surface of 253 hectars would be immediately available. Regularly in fall, experts from the building and real estate offices of the 52 Saarland communities are interviewed about the latest state of planning. Also owners of commercial properties that could be an option for business relocations are considered, as e.g. the RAG Mining Group or the Hafenbetriebe (port operations). The evaluation of data is done by the SHS Saar Holding Company. At the beginning of each year, the commercial property register is up-to-date.
The GEWISS online catalogue on commercial areas was initiated by the Saarland Ministry of the Economy, Labour, Energy and Transport, as well as the SHS subsidiary gwSaar Saarland Economic Promotion Corporation. The catalogue was realized by the support of the Saarland cities and communities.
The Saarland is, by the way, the only German Flächenstaat (non-city state) that offers this service.