A successful partnership
The fruitful collaboration between Weerts Group, the territorial development agency IDEA and the city of La Louvière will eventually lead to the construction of a logistics hub of over 68,000 m². Located in the heart of Garocentre Trimodal, close to the E42 motorway and directly connected to the Centre canal, this new project will integrate sustainable technologies and will create at least 250 direct jobs. Construction is scheduled to begin in late summer 2022 and the first building is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.
With this new complex, Weerts Group will have a strong foothold in the Province of Hainaut. Garocentre was chosen because of its excellent location, its multimodality and its large operating area. Situated at the heart of the European motorway network, 20 hours by boat from the port of Antwerp, the site will serve as a platform for the storage, handling and dispatch of containers by road, water and rail.
The group's logistics division, Weerts Supply Chain, will occupy part of the space to develop its high value-added logistics activities. The rest of the available space has not been allocated at this stage, but will be offered for rent to other customers with their own logistics operators.
250 jobs in sight
Weerts Group's major investment in the region of La Louvière will strengthen its Belgian and European position in terms of advanced logistics and real estate development, while at the same time generating employment. The project will create at least 250 new jobs (administrative positions, accounting and multi-skilled workers).
"IDEA is delighted with the successful completion of this project. Wallonia, and more specifically the “Coeur du Hainaut”, has many assets in terms of logistics, with a dense road/highway and river network and a good connection with the European rail network. The “Coeur du Hainaut” has no less than fifty companies active in the sector, totalling more than 4,000 jobs, spread over the two main trimodal platforms, Ghlin-Baudour and Garocentre," says Caroline Decamps, IDEA's Managing Director.
"Through this ambitious project led by Weerts Group, the Garocentre logistics platform welcomes its 62nd company and will provide more than 1,950 workers in this economic activity zone specialising in logistics. The multimodal platform of almost 200 ha already has major international groups such as Cophana, Johnson & Johnson, Logitoys, etc. and is continuing to develop through a wide range of land on offer", says Jacques Gobert, Mayor of La Louvière and President of IDEA.
Start of construction end of summer 2022
The construction works are expected to start in September 2022 with a first hall of 35,000m², which is expected to be operational by the end of 2023. Weerts Group will start the construction of the second and third buildings in the course of 2023.
Sustainable development objectives
In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint and more generally to take into account current environmental considerations, Weerts Group is investing in long-term sustainability measures and has committed to obtaining BREEAM certification for all its future logistics real estate developments as of 1 January 2022. At Garocentre, the aim is to achieve a Breeam "Excellent" certification.
As a result, buildings are now systematically designed with a view to optimising and improving energy performance, including the installation of solar panels, the use of low-cost insulation materials over the entire life cycle, the use of heat pumps and the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles. All premises are equipped with LED equipment and motion detectors to reduce energy consumption.
Apart from the sustainability of the buildings, the multimodal infrastructure of the Garocentre site (access to waterways and rail) offers interesting prospects and undeniable alternatives for reducing motorway traffic.
"We have always demonstrated our commitment to sustainable, respectful and innovative projects. This deployment on Garocentre is in line with our long-term vision and values.
Pascal Weerts: CEO of Weerts Group