Electromobility hub confirmed as leading candidate to take over Nissan's Zona Franca plant
Administration rules out the military company Tess Defence, earning union criticism
BarcelonaNissan's reindustrialisation table, which has to decide which companies will occupy the three plants that the company will leave in Catalonia this December, has already prepared the new roadmap in a meeting held this Friday after the Chinese company Great Wall Motor ruled out further negotiations to settle in the Zona Franca plant. Instead, an electromobility hub, led by the Catalan company QEV, is expected to take over much of this plant, while the rest would be used by industrial storage company Mecalux, which was on the waiting list, or any of the logistics companies that have submitted a bid. These include Australian real estate company Goodman or the tandem formed by the Port of Barcelona and Merlin Properties. Nissan's committee, however, have insisted via a press release after the meeting that they must look for industrial projects and not logistics to ensure greater job stability.
The option of the military company Tess Defence has been definitively ruled out, a fact that has caused discomfort in the unions. "The administration has withdrawn the project before being able to analyse its possibilities," the committee regrets, which says that the decision responds more to a political issue than an industrial one. The Generalitat made it clear from the beginning that it did not want this option while the Ministry of Industry this Friday morning still assured ARA that "no option has been ruled out".
No changes are expected at the Montcada i Reixach plant, which would be taken over by electric motorcycle company Silence. The Sant Andreu de la Barca plant would also host part of the QEV hub.
No agreement until February
The round table, formed by the central government, the Catalan government, the unions and Nissan, will meet again on December 29 to advance in the negotiations. The final decision on the future of the three plants will take until after the Christmas holidays, and according to union sources it is likely that there will be no agreement until February. The pressure, however, is on, as nearly 1,500 workers have already collected theur letters of dismissal from the Japanese automaker, which stopped production in the Zona Franca this week.
Before the meeting, the Spanish government's Secretary General for Industry, Raül Blanco, wanted to send them a message of tranquility and has assured that the alternative that is on the table will generate "enough" employment and that "whatever the solution is, workers will be covered". Catalan Business minister Roger Torrent spoke along the same lines.