Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The European nation has set targets to put less waste in landfills and increase the use of incineration and waste-to-energy plants.
The Czech Republic posted GDP growth of 4.4 percent in 2017, 2 percentage points above European average of 2.4 percent. This growth continued into 2018, with the first quarter showing growth of 5.5 percent compared to the same quarter the prior year. Drivers of growth are mainly private consumption and corporate investment. Other macroeconomic figures are also positive, such as an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent, much lower than the German rate of 3.7 percent and the European average of 7.5.
Although the Czech Republic’s rate of waste put in landfills has fallen below 50 percent it is still markedly higher than the European average. This is in part due to a steadily growing economy and higher rate of waste production per person. Nearly 340 kg of waste was produced per Czech citizen in 2016, which is approximately 10 percent more than in 2013.
The country is currently working on a waste treatment plan extending through 2024, including both incineration plants and waste-to-energy plants. The country’s waste management organization is decentralized and controlled mainly by large international companies (e.g., TSR group, FCC group). Currently, four new incineration plants are in the planning stages, with more than €300 million being invested. One incineration plant with a capacity of more than 150,000 tons of waste per year is being planned in Komorany by United Energy and EVO Komorany, with estimated costs of €118 million.
Due to the Czech currency’s strength, the country’s imports increased steadily in recent years. In 2017, the U.S. exported goods worth $2.3 billion to the Czech Republic. With $726 million of exported goods in the first quarter of 2018, the country logged a 42 percent increase over the corresponding quarter the year before. Industrial machinery is the second-most-imported category of goods by the Czech Republic, worth more than $24 billion in 2016.
There are also opportunities in the treatment of organic waste, with seven plants being planned with more than €20 million in European Union subsidy support. The sector is one of the main targets for subsidies by the EU, so that an ongoing high level of investment can be maintained.
Digitization offers further opportunities for foreign companies to penetrate the Czech market. The country has begun to digitize municipal waste management, with sensors to measure filling heights and to optimize routes of the garbage trucks currently being tested in a pilot project in Kolin.
Attending a trade fair is always the best opportunity to get insight into a market and get to know potential business partners. Interested companies should consider attending the international trade fair of waste handling, recycling, and industrial and municipal ecology held in September in Prague.
Further information about waste management products and services in the Czech Republic, as well as an overview of global players currently active in the Czech waste management industry, can be found at https://www.environmental-expert.com/waste-recycling/waste-management/services/available-in-czech-republic.