The Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, and the Minister of Economy of Castilla y León, Pilar del Olmo, today signed the adhesion to the document of commitments assumed by the central and regional governments and the companies Vestas and Network to alleviate the closure of the factory of the first in Villadangos del Páramo (León).
The document has also been signed by the president of the Network, Óscar Heckh.
Upon his arrival, Maroto was greeted with applause by dozens of workers waiting for him there and, on an impromptu basis, he spoke a few words to ensure that the Ministry will protect the process so that the points of the agreement are met and the Vestas staff is absorbed up to 350 jobs committed.
The Spanish steel company Network Steel has recognized that it opted for the facilities of Villadangos del Páramo with a view to a better position in the national and Portuguese market, as well as to have a new access to some of the main seaports.
The company considers strategic the situation of the industrial estate of Villadangos facing these two markets and its possibilities of communications with important ports, as well as complementing the factory that it already has in Aranda de Duero (Burgos).
The works to reconvert the Vestas plant to a steel production center will begin in February 2019 and will end at the end of 2020, when it will be able to be at full capacity with a production capacity of 520,000 tons of galvanized steel per year.
Already during the turn of interventions, the minister has admitted that the agreement has not been easy and recalled that he "reached the heart" that last August the workers transferred him that they were in the hands of the Ministry.
"The policy is that, to think about the people and that is what we have been doing since August 28th that Vestas had the intention of closing the Villadangos plant with the objectives of maintaining the productive unit and employment in this factory, "he added.
The Minister stressed the "hard work" behind this firm and stressed that Castilla y León has addressed business problems with the focus on the social dialogue agreement, which has been "the backbone of agreements and procedures" .
Del Olmo pointed out that social dialogue "has transformed an industrial conflict into a great opportunity for the future in a land that deserves to continue believing".
In addition, he assured that it has worked jointly between administrations and is a day that will be the beginning of something important that will happen in the industrial sector of León.
In this regard, he recalled that in projects under execution in the province of León there are 1,100 jobs that will give many opportunities and in regard to initiatives that will be a reality another 1,544 jobs.
Finally, he thanked the "struggle" of the workers as well as the work of the unions and the presence of the minister at the event.
The agreement provides that the investment will reach up to 130 million euros, for the creation of 350 direct jobs and a thousand indirect, with the occupation of about 50,000 square meters in the Villadangos del Páramo complex.
The project of Network Steel, a company with 100% Spanish capital, includes a pickling line, two cold rolling mills, six annealing bells with pure hydrogen, two lines of continuous galvanized coils and a logistics area with direct rail access , which will mean that it will occupy a larger area than the one currently occupied by the Vestas plant.
The Board is committed to providing the company with 10 million in participative loans through Sodical and four others to finance the working capital through the financial shuttle instrument.
Network Steel is considered a priority strategic interest, so you can access 50 percent bonuses, as well as other municipal tax exemptions.
Another of the commitments of the regional administration, together with the Ministry of Industry, is to finance part of the railway infrastructure that accompanies the project of the steel company, as well as gas and electricity, with investments that can reach six million dollars. euros
The finishing of the new infrastructures will go hand in hand with the works undertaken by the companies.
Vestas workers will enjoy priority in hiring, for which they will have a training and technical assistance plan.