Polish yacht producer wins awards and contracts in Cannes

Cannes Yachting Festival. Photo by Richard Stephens
Cannes Yachting Festival. Photo by Richard Stephens
The Polish yachting industry is one of Poland’s most successful business and export sectors – yet outside the market itself this is not so well known. Within the industry globally, Polish yachts are recognized as being of high quality and are increasingly in demand.

Sunreef Yachts returns from Cannes with orders worth EUR c. 18.5 mln, plus awards

Poland’s yacht-building industry continues its impressive track record, with the recent results of the country’s star performer Sunreef Yachts at the Cannes Yacht Festival evidence of this development. The Gdańsk-based company signed five new-build contracts worth in the region of EUR 18.5 million, and won two awards at the event – the 70 Sunreef Power was voted Best Motor Catamaran and the Sunreef Yachts Echo Rance won the Green Yacht Trophy. The contracts included one for an electric Sunreef 80 Eco sail catamaran, two Sunreef 60, one Sunreef 50 and a 70 Sunreef Power motor yacht.

According to Wojciech Nowicki of Poland’s international investment agency PAIH, the Polish shipbuilding industry is “very extensive.” In Poland, he says, “all types of boats are built – from small fishing boats through sailing yachts and catamarans, motorboats, megayachts, sailing ships, transport ships, ferries and all other water units like houseboats, etc. Our – let’s say – national specialty are motorboats up to 11 m. hull long with outboard engine.” Most buyers are currently from Scandinavia, France, the USA, Holland and Germany, but Nowicki says there is an untapped market a bit further afield: “The Asian market is still hardly discovered for Poland… Australia is another one. It is distant and logistically difficult, also very experienced in yacht matters. However, companies such as Galeon, Parker Poland or Haber Yachts are more and more recognized there and I believe that they can strongly compete there.” According to PAIH, around 22,000 yachts are built in Poland, making the country one of the biggest producers in Europe. About 95% of these boats are exported. Between 2013 – 2017 exports more than doubled from EUR 241 million to EUR 484 million.

The other Polish companies exhibiting in Cannes were JP Marine, Moon Yacht, Wave Catamarans and Proteh Glassdeep.


DocPlanner first Polish unicorn

The Polish medical booking platform is – according to numerous media sources both Polish and English-language – the first Polish tech company to be valued at at least EUR 1 billion. Founded in Poland in 2012 by Mariusz Gralowski, DocPlanner deals with the creation and management of websites that enable the scheduling of appointments for doctors and the review of medical services by patients. Using SaaS (Software as a Service) services, they help the doctors themselves in managing workflow. About 30 million patients in 15 countries use DocPlanner’s services, making about 1.5 million visits each month. The company employs over 1,000 people.

According to Polish economic and business news website 300Gospodarka, Poland has been lagging behind regional rivals in the startup stakes. “Despite the stable growth of the startup development environment, Poland has so far not been able to boast of a single domestic unicorn. In this respect, we were losing to some rivals from our region – for example Romania and Lithuania. This state of affairs continued even though 2020 was good for Polish startups – last year venture capital funds – investment companies investing in startups – pumped PLN 2.1 billion into the development of young technology companies, and the total amount of investments increased by 70% over the previous year. As we wrote in May this year, Booksy, Brainly and Docplanner were selected as three Polish startups that have a chance to obtain the status of “unicorn” the fastest,  and it has now turned out that the race was won by the main favourite, Warsaw’s DocPlanner.” The highest-valued unicorn from Central and Eastern Europe to date is the Romanian UIPath (USD 35 billion), a company that creates systems that automate office work, such as Robotic Process Automation.


CIECH signs letter of Intent with Synthos to build small nuclear power plants

Chemicals producer CIECH S.A. has signed a letter of intent with Synthos Green Energy (SGE) to cooperate in the production of alternative sources of energy to coal, with the aim of reducing CIECH’s carbon emissions by 33% by 2026, shifting away from carbon entirely by 2033 and becoming carbon neutral by 2040. “Clean, emission-free nuclear energy may become an important element of the strategy of achieving ambitious climate goals by our group, as well as an important factor increasing the competitiveness of CIECH in the long term,” said Dawid Jakubowicz, CEO of Ciech. “The cooperation of CIECH… with Synthos Green Energy, may result not only in accelerating the decarbonisation process of the domestic industry, but also in strengthening its position on the global market.”

Ciech, whose strategic partner is Polish billionaire Sebastian Kulczyk through his company Kulczyk Investments’ Luxembourg-registered KI Chemistry, is the biggest producer of chemicals in Poland and one of the biggest in the world. KI Chemistry has a 51.14% stake in Ciech. Synthos Green Energy is the renewable energy wing of Synthos, whose main revenue source is synthetic rubbers. SGE “was established in order to develop and implement zero-emission technologies and electricity production from renewable sources for the Synthos Group.”

The letter of intent provides for the establishment of long-term cooperation to determine “the characteristics of energy supply needs for companies using SMR and MMR technologies, developing an energy supply model, determining the possibilities and conditions for the construction of SMR and MMR installations on the premises of the companies and establishing the boundary terms of the contract for the supply of energy to the companies “.


Southeast Asian e-commerce giant to rival Allegro in Poland

Shopee, the e-commerce company, is to debut in Europe with its first launch on the Polish market, according to Reuters. The Singapore-based company will be another rival, alongside Amazon, for Polish online e-commerce platform Allegro, which is the dominant e-commerce platform in Poland and the largest in the CEE region. The Polish e-commerce market is estimated to be EUR 16 billion, according to Euromonitor, a research firm.

Retail news site Wiadomości Handlowe (Retail News) believes that Shopee – and Amazon – may face a challenge in convincing Polish buyers to switch to their platforms from the trusted and well-established homegrown Allegro. According to the website, Polish consumers will be able to test the new platform before the end of September. Shopee, dominant in Southeast Asia, is launching simultaneously in India and subsequently in Argentina, where it is already operating in Brazil, Columbia, Chile and Mexico. The company is owned by the Singapore tech conglomerate Sea Limited.


Kajima and Griffin Real Estate announce JV to acquire Polish onshore renewable energy developer

Kajima Europe, the pan-European real estate investment and development company, together with Griffin Real Estate, a leading private equity investment company, have announced the establishment of a joint venture to finance and develop renewable energy projects located in Poland. As part of the deal, the JV has acquired a 72% stake in PAD-RES, a leading developer in the clean energy asset space in Poland.

The companies plan to focus on further development of PAD-RES’s renewable energy portfolio, which comprises investments in solar and wind projects at various stages of advancement, both in development stage and ready to build, with operational renewable capacity exceeding 500MW. The portfolio places the platform at the forefront of the country’s emerging renewable energy sector.

The JV will provide capital expenditure and development equity financing for the platform, which will develop the existing portfolio in 2021 – 2025, with a view to acquire new projects and pursue greenfield opportunities. Griffin Real Estate will act as a co-owner and investment manager of the platform. Mariusz Adamczewski, founder of PAD-RES, will remain as a minority investor and CEO.

The deal marks the first investment in Kajima’s strategy to move into the renewables sector in both the European Union and the UK. The EU has committed to cutting carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, aiming to become the world’s first carbon neutral continent. Meanwhile the UK government has announced a target to slash emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

In separate news, Pruim, a company managed by Griffin Real Estate, has sold six retail properties with a total GLA of over 107,600 sqm to a confidential buyer. The value of the transaction is EUR 87 million.


“An explosion of data centre development in the near future.” America’s Vantage Data Centers in Bielany, Warsaw

A data centre is under construction in the district of Bielany, north Warsaw, by American company Vantage Data Centers, according to website Naszemiasto (Our city). Warsaw is one of six European cities chosen by the company, the others being Berlin, Frankfurt, Cardiff, Milan and Zurich. “Vantage’s data centre campus in Poland will be sited on more than 12 acres (five hectares) just a half-hour drive from Warsaw-Chopin International Airport.” says their website. “Once fully developed, the 390,000 square foot (36,000 square metre) campus will comprise two, four-story, state-of-the-art data centres offering a combined 48MW of critical IT load. The first phase will include 8MW of IT capacity with 300W/SF (3.23kW/M²) average density.”

The company goes on to say, broadly speaking, why it chose Poland as a location: “This may come as a surprise for some since Poland – as a nation – is not often mentioned when talking about the European Union’s (EU) largest economies. But Poland is having a moment, and the data center industry is taking notice. Today, there is no established cloud region in Poland; however, based on recent announcements from Google and Microsoft, that will be changing soon. Launching a cloud region in Poland creates a beachhead for pent-up-demand from companies desiring a local presence… While it may not get the recognition that other European data center markets receive – including Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris, Poland is poised for an explosion of data centre development in the near future.”


Lack of division between working hours and spare time a major issue for IT experts

The lack of boundaries between work and leisure time during the COVID lockdowns was a problem for almost half of IT experts surveyed by IT consultancy 7N Group in Poland, Denmark and India, while loneliness was an issue for almost 40% of respondents. Generally speaking, however, IT consultants found that working remotely was a positive experience and are eager to recommend the practice to their friends (on a scale from 0 to 10 the average is 7.84). The best remote work experience was reported by Polish experts (average 8.12), followed by experts from India (average 8.06) and then experts from Denmark (7.82).

When asked how effective online meetings are in comparison with face-to-face meetings, almost half (47%) did not see any difference between the two. Concerning their favoured model of working in the future, only 3.62% said they would want to work 100% of the time in the office. 29.97% said working 25-50% of the time remotely would be optimum, while 28.94% said they would like to work remotely 50-70% of the time. 15.76% claimed to want to work 100% of the time remotely.

The survey was conducted between 14 December 2020 and 18 January 2021, with 402 respondents, of whom 179 were from Poland, 175 from Denmark and 48 from India, using the CAWI method.

August 30, 2021
PGNiG buys into US-owned energy company in Ukraine
Photo courtesy of PGNiG Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo and ERU Management Services have signed an agreement providing for the purchase by the Polish company of a controlling interest in Ukraine’s Karpatgazvydobuvannya - according to a statement on PGNiG’s website - the sole holder of the Byblivska licence located in Western Ukraine, in an area [...]
Written by: Richard Stephens