Artur Popko: the Polish construction industry carries out the most difficult investments

News date: January 31, 2023
Artur Popko: the Polish construction industry carries out the most difficult investments

Statement by Artur Popko – CEO of Budimex, from the Build4Future conference:


‘Infrastructure investments in Poland account for more than 70% of the construction output; therefore they constitute a lever for the entire construction sector. Polish construction companies are able to carry out the largest linear investments in the country,said Artur Popko – President of the Management Board of Budimex – during the Build 4 Future Conference. The occasion was a panel on the future of major infrastructure investments in Poland.


By 2040, Poland has investment plans measuring more than 1 billion zloty. The planned investments include: nuclear power plants, CPK, port, hydrotechnical, offshore and onshore investments as well as multiannual road and rail programmes.


‘I think that the construction industry is capable of ‘processing’ both road contracts and aggregated rail contracts. Companies operating in Poland successfully perform the most difficult investments. In the case of problems in the performance of a small number of contracts, the contractors are companies either from outside the European Union or companies which have not completed other road contracts,said Artur Popko.


The President of Budimex confirmed that PKP PLK had done a great deal, despite the lack of funding. ‘Through dialogue, we have established and jointly reached an agreement that the rail industry will not waste time. Tenders have been announced and the bids already submitted are currently being reviewed. We are able to invest in people and equipment, which we have shown in our railway investments, and perform more contracts with our own people and specialist equipment. For general contractors, a stable approach to submitting bids is of key importance,’ said the CEO of Budimex.


‘The company is keeping an eye on trends in tender procedures across Europe. Contracts under public procurement procedures in Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia are mainly granted to contractors from the European Union area. We submit bids in Latvia, where companies from outside the European Union do not enter the critical infrastructure market as a general contractor,’ added Artur Popko.


The CEO of Budimex also drew attention to the risks, particularly in the energy sector. ‘The energy segment of our economy will develop very strongly. We are facing the challenge of a huge and long-lasting energy transformation. If we are to meet the EU’s climate targets, we should allow private capital to take part in strategic investments. In the case of RES investments, along with other entities, we cannot develop all capacities as the transmission networks have major limitations due to their age. Poland wants to make offshore investments, but private capital has very limited access to this market. This is surprising. Such investments allow the economy to grow. If we are to achieve energy neutrality within three decades, private capital should have the possibility to support the State,’ he explained.


Artur Popko also explained the motives behind the company’s operations on foreign markets. ‘Our expansion abroad results from two things. The first is the company’s further growth and diversification. The second is the desire to reach out for additional construction contracts, given that some EU funds may be blocked at some point in Poland. Going beyond the borders allows us to develop our staff. Many people from our company have now gone abroad to learn, to develop and to gain experience in the United States or Australia. We also want to gain competences in tunnel construction. So far these investments have been limited on the Polish market, but this will change,’ concluded the CEO of Budimex.