Following the Polish elections, Covid-19 and the EU Green Deal, the approach of the Dutch water sector towards Poland needed to be updated. Therefore, Sweco was assigned to conduct a Quick Market scan of the Polish market. The main conclusions were discussed during a webinar on 16 February. The Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) supports and facilitates cooperation between the Dutch water sector and Poland within the framework of the Partners for Water programme.
After an overview of the economic situation in Poland by Martin van Buuren, of the Dutch Embassy in Poland, Jana Steenbergen-Kajabová, Senior Consultant Coast and Rivers at Sweco, and Aad van Duijvenvoorde, Head of the Water Technology department at Sweco, informed the participants about the main conclusions of the quick scan.
The Polish Ministry of Environment is working on a strategy for the bigger cities to become more climate resilient. This is an important driver of adaptation to flooding, rain and drought and thus provide opportunities for Dutch companies with relevant technologies. Additionally, the shortage of water means that diversification of water resources and decreasing water leakage are important topics.
Inland water ways and river management
Maintenance and improvement of navigability of the rivers on the one hand and nature preservation on the other create complex issues. However, EU legislation needs to be met, which creates opportunities for the Dutch water sector, especially for the Delta technology sector.
Droughts and efficient use of water
Innovations in the domain of water and ICT offer solutions to problems Poland is facing due to drought. Especially innovations focused on optimization of water supply for the agricultural industry.
The main players in water supply and waste water treatment can be divided in two main groups:
Municipalities: responsible for both supply, collection and treatment – both drinking and waste water.
Industry: responsible for supply and treatment, especially in the Dairy, Food and Oil&Gas industries.
There are four main challenges in the field of water technology:
Compliance with EU legislation: currently the water quality parameters are met, but more demanding parameters will be set. The 3-step strategy as implemented in the Netherlands is not yet implemented in Poland, offering opportunities for Dutch companies in this field.
Asset management: Improving management of assets and operational management including optimization of processes in order to reduce costs.
Energy transition: new sources of energy are being introduced such as biogas from sludge, and technologies to reduce CO2 emissions.
Climate adaptation: the shortage of water means that diversification of water resources and decreasing water leakage are important topics.
Following the overview of the main conclusions and opportunities for the Dutch water industry, Sweco gave a short overview of challenges companies should take into account if they plan to enter the Polish market. Companies wishing to enter the Polish market should consider working together with a local partner. This is key for understanding (legal) procedures, for participating in tenders (all in Polish), and for being competitive – personnel costs are lower in Poland. Additionally, bringing knowledge and innovation to Poland is more interesting when brought together with funding.
If you would like to receive the Quick Market scan of Poland, or want to know more about Poland, please let us know by sending an e-mail to Matthijs Plijnaar, firstname.lastname@example.org.