A production floor belonging to ILPEA, a manufacturer of components for the domestic appliances industry, was destroyed in a fire. More than 600 people were employed at the company’s facility in Chełstówek near Twardogóra. Janusz Piechociński, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, visited the facility and promised aid for the company and the employees. The Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone also offers to help.
The fire broke out on 20 July around 7.30 am. A production floor with a floor area of 11,000 m2 burnt down. Thirty-two truck companies and two aircraft fought the blaze. Part of the facility and the office building were saved.
“We have set up a crisis management center whose meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 30 July. Together with the deputy provincial governor and the deputy marshal of Lower Silesia, and aided by the Wałbrzych zone, we will agree on an action plan,” says Minister of Economy Janusz Piechociński. “We would like to initiate mechanisms that will help the company to stay in the market and continue its functioning in the home appliances industry. This industry is especially strong and competitive in Poland,” adds Mr. Piechociński.
ILPEA is an Italian company operating in the plastics industry. The Chełstówek facility produced seals for refrigerators and washing machines, and its customers included Bosch, Indesit, Amica, and Whirlpool. Although the destroyed buildings were located outside the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone, the company was planning to develop within it. In 2014, it received two permits to do business in the WSEZ. The first project concerned the construction of a new factory in Twardogóra while the second one – its extension.
“These plans will have to be verified now. The new facility must begin production as soon as possible. The zone will become involved in the construction of the facility. We already have experience in building production floors in the zone,” says Barbara Kaśnikowska, President of the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone “INVEST-PARK”.
The Chełstówek facility employed almost 600 people. Around 200 of them can work at the part of the factory that survived the fire. Some of the remaining staff have been delegated to work in the company’s facilities in Italy and Hungary.
“Forty people have already left, and another sixty will join them soon. We predict that between 150 and 200 people will temporarily lose jobs,” says Zbigniew Potyrała, Mayor of Twardogóra.
“They are highly skilled workers. Together with Jacek Męcina, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, we will be looking for support mechanisms for them,” adds Mr. Piechociński.