The state of TGN's Entrevies industrial estate reduces the productivity of companies
"Sometimes I hesitate to take customers to visit the terminal because it's really embarrassing," says Geert van Kerckhove, site administrator of Katoen Natie Iberica. The company was established in the Entrevies industrial estate in 2008. The location and proximity to its customers were a key factor for an implementation that was a strategic commitment of the multinational. However, Van Kerckhove assures that "you only need to take a walk around to see how abandoned everything is, in the last ten years I have never seen a brigade cleaning."
Katoen Natie has been expanding its activity in the industrial estate, with new annual investments, which the company as a whole estimates at more than fifty million euros. "The investment plan is quite important," says this manager. Despite this, the company regrets that having basic services such as fiber or asphalt on the roads "costs a thousand times more and in the end, we end up paying for the urbanization of the streets."
The company regrets that the poor condition of the industrial zone "may condition investments." And it is that, beyond the endemic lack of maintenance, one of the main concerns is mobility and flooding problems. Both are related, since the latter are generated in the area under the bridge, which is the main entrance and exit to the industrial estate, which in episodes of heavy rain makes access difficult for both workers, customers and suppliers.
The Tarragona Chamber of Commerce, which collaborates as the managing body of the Association of Entrepreneurs of the Polygon, remember that in 2020 the City Council committed to drafting a comprehensive plan for this access, two years later "we are still waiting for it to be presented". "It is a danger both for the workers and for the goods that, let's not forget, can be dangerous," says Jordi Quintana, from the company BIC Iberia. Only in the shift changes of this company up to one hundred workers can coincide, while the traffic of heavy vehicles is estimated at about 500 trucks a day.
As a result of the conversations with the City Council, now every time an episode occurs in which the water becomes stagnant again, someone is sent to solve it, but the businessmen consider that "it is not the solution." Likewise, they are concerned because this is the only exit to go to Tarragona, and if at any time a chemical emergency situation occurs, which coincides with an episode of rain, the situation could be catastrophic. For this reason, businessmen have been calling for the authorization of a second access for a long time, which allows linking this industrial zone with the commercial sector that is on the other side of the train track –partial plan 13– which would guarantee a new entrance and exit to the N-340.
The solution is not complex although it involves some difficulty. This happens by linking the Mas d'en Potau street with the Camino Viejo de Salou. However, two municipalities have to agree on this, such as Tarragona and La Canonja, in addition to the infrastructure management entity Adif, since this overpass must allow the train track to be crossed.
The Tarragona City Council has not quite specified what it wants to do, although it assures that "we are very concerned about the situation of this estate." The municipal technicians have studied what it would mean to end the flooding problems and the authorization of this second access and the costs are similar. The first thing goes through the fitting out of an underground collector, so that rainwater can be collected that would later go to the treatment plant. In this case, the cost ranges from one million to one and a half million euros. As for the construction of a new bridge, the fork is the same, so the Councilor for Territory, Xavier Puig, I would opt for the latter. "It offers us an exit and evacuation alternative that is essential," he says.
The person in charge of urban planning affirms that "the mayor is leading several fronts in the search for solutions, which means that he is talking with the different levels of administration and also at the party level." Puig does not go into the details of these conversations. "We recognize the problem and I can only say that it is a subject that we have worked on a lot and when it is like that, it usually turns out well," adds Puig.
The Entrevies industrial estate is the oldest industrial zone in the city. Construction began in 1956 and its development has always gone hand in hand with the growth of port logistics and chemical activity. This occupies an area of seven hectares of land and houses 25 companies which together employ some 1,200 people. with these figuresthe president of the Tarragona Chamber of Commerce, Laura Roigé, states that "Entrevies is a key industrial estate for the city, both in terms of the activity it develops related to the port and chemistry, as well as the jobs it generates".
The companies are clear when they affirm that the discomfort of this industrial zone affects their productivity, while Roigé adds: "That the companies maintain their activity depends on solving mobility and access to the industrial estate." Likewise, the businessmen of this industrial zone open a new melon, now that the city is in the drafting phase of a new APPLE. And it is that, these demand to increase the buildability of this sector from the current 50% to 60%, in addition to an increase in volumetry that "allows 13-meter-high logistics warehouses, taking into account the comparative grievance that it means to not have these urban parameters that most of the industrial zones have”.