Japanese manufacturing giant Daikin Industries has launched construction of its first factory in Poland, which will produce heat pumps. The investment, led by subsidiary group Daikin Europe, is estimated to be worth €300 million.
After construction is complete – currently scheduled for 2024 – the factory in Ksawerów, a suburban municipality near the city of Łódź in central Poland, is expected to employ 3,000 people by 2030.
“The decision to locate the new factory in Poland has many benefits: it will give Daikin access to the largest pool of skilled workers in Central and Eastern Europe, access to other markets and the opportunity to benefit from stable supply chains,” said Daikin in a statement.
Last year, a record 3 million heat pumps were installed in Europe amid an energy crisis and green transition that increased demand for heating sources independent of fossil fuels. Daikin estimates that the figure will reach 3.5 million by 2025.
Heat pumps work rather like air-conditioning in reverse, transferring thermal energy from outside a building to the inside. The European Heat Pump Association, an industry body, estimates that they replaced 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas in Europe last year, avoiding about 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions
While EHPA figures show that heat pump installations increased by 38% across 16 European markets last year, in Poland the figure rose even faster, by 137%, according to the Polish Heat Pump Technology Development Organisation, which says this was the fastest growth in Europe.
Demand has been boosted by various state subsidies, including under the government’s Clean Air programme and, as of this month, its My Electricity scheme.
Daikin’s investment in a heat pump factory was hailed by development minister Waldemar Buda – who attended the groundbreaking ceremony – as a further example of the “record-breaking inflow of foreign direct investments to Poland”
Recent years have seen a number of international firms invest in green technology research and manufacture in Poland, including a planned €1 billion Mercedes factory exclusively producing electric vans and a number of plants producing batteries and other energy storage systems.