Swedish industrial group Atlas Copco is to invest 70 million euros in Flanders
Swedish industrial group Atlas Copco is to invest 70 million euro over the next three years in its facility just outside Antwerp. The investment is aimed at innovation with additional R&D capacity, an expansion of the company's "smart factory", new production technology and the further retraining of its employees.
The newly announced investments in the 'site Wilrijk' just outside Antwerp are a continuation of projects that were started in 2018. With its so-called Airpower Masterplan, Atlas Copco focuses its investment efforts on three main pillars: innovation; attractive working environment; mobility and safety.
"The Wilrijk site is our most advanced compressed air R&D expertise centre in the world," says Vagner Rego, Business Area President Compressor Technique at Atlas Copco.
"Here we develop, test and produce new industrial ideas. With innovative solutions focusing on energy efficiency, energy conversion and digitalization, we want to offer our customers the most energy-efficient and sustainable solutions that also positively contribute to society and the environment."
In addition, Atlas Copco wants to create an attractive working environment for its employees. Through a hybrid work policy for office workers, the location is to become the place to be for creation and innovation. Furthermore, the Swedish Group remains committed to lifelong learning by investing in retraining and education for its employees in Flanders.
Mobility and safety
In the near future, Atlas Copco also plans to invest in mobility and safety on and around the Wilrijk site, including new parking infrastructure and, eventually, an on-site truck waiting area to limit truck traffic around the site. In addition, the company wants to strengthen green solutions for local water storage capacity. For example, Atlas Copco is providing an eight-meter wide green buffer zone on its site in Flanders, and is transferring 8,156 m² of land to the province of Antwerp for free to be turned into open space.
With the announced investments, Atlas Copco hopes to give its business activities in Flanders a further boost. The Swedish group had previously received the Lifetime Achievement Trophy 2021 from Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) for its decades of commitment to the Flemish region.
© BELGA PHOTO ROBBE VANDEGEHUCHTE