An intergovernmental agreement between South Korea and Poland is expected to improve Korean companies’ chances of winning work on an $8bn project to build Europe’s largest air hub.
The Solidarity Transport Hub development will be located in Baranow, about 40km west of Warsaw. It will consist of the New Central Polish Airport (CPK), a replacement for Frederic Chopin Airport, as well as railways, roads and new towns.
The memorandum of understanding was signed in Warsaw by Noh Hyeong Ouk, Korea’s transport minister, and Kim Kyung-wook, president of the Incheon International Airport Corporation. The Koreans will become a minority shareholder in the project and will raise part of the money for the construction costs.
Speaking at the signing, Noh said the Korean parties would “spare no effort to support the success of the STH project based on rich experience in the construction and operation of Incheon Airport, which has the world’s best capabilities.”
The Polish government will finalise Korea’s financial contribution and set up the masterplans for the 3,000ha airport and the adjacent infrastructure next year. Work on site will begin in 2023, and much of the project is due to be completed by 2027. Once complete, the airport is expected to handle up to 45 million passengers a year. Later phases will raise this to 100 million.
Marcin Horała, the government’s plenipotentiary for the hub, said the agreement was “a big step” towards making the airport a joint investment between Poland and South Korea.
“Such a move will combine South Korean knowledge and experience with Polish ambition and potential. It is an unequivocal signal that the CPK is a well-thought-out, well-planned and promising investment,” he added.
The hub will include railway construction aimed at reducing the time needed to travel between Warsaw and the largest Polish cities in less than 2.5 hours.
According to the project’s website, the investment should provide employment for over 150,000 people. An airport city will be created within the STH’s region including facilities for trade fairs and conferences, as well as offices.