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KRAKOW, POLAND-According to a report by PMR Publications, Poland is expected to spend nearly $25.5 billion on development projects to prepare for the Euro 2012 Football (Soccer) Championship. Poland and Ukraine have been chosen to host the soccer finals, but Poland is pouring more money into the project and has made less progress than Ukraine.

In Poland the majority of the projects plans have not even been finalized, and many won’t be formally announced until the second half of this year, according to the report. Planned projects are for the transportation, sports facilities, hotels and telecommunication sectors.

Once announced, most projects will break ground in 2010 and speed through a two-year delivery process to be ready for 2012. “The schedule of projects planned for Euro 2012 in Poland comprises over 300 tasks, but at least until mid-2009 the bulk of them will be in the preparation stage, which involves securing of permits, development of designs and selection of contractors to implement projects,” says Bartlomiej Sosna, construction market analyst of PMR.

As a result, Euro 2012 is expected to create a boom for the Polish construction companies. “Beginning from 2010, most of the projects will be in progress, which is the reason why the years 2010-2011 are expected to be definitely better as compared to 2009, which, in particular, will be the case for large companies,” Sosna says.

Of the 250 largest construction companies polled in the survey, 71% plan to be involved in these projects. While, they all want a piece of the pie, many are doubtful $25.5 billion worth of projects will ever be able to reach fruition. Only 22% of respondents expect more than 75% of the plan to be realized, while 60% of respondents expect to see more than 50% of the projects finalized.

Respondents were unconvinced of all the projects completing after seeing several of the plans stall in the preparation stages during 2008. The transportation projects are the ones more believe will not be ready by 2012 and will be completed in the several years that follow the Euro 2012.

Should only 50% of projects make it from conception to placing the last brick, that still means nearly $13 billion worth of investment hitting the Polish economy. “Organization of Euro 2012 and the enormous amount of the EU funds are the best things that could happen to the Polish construction industry. The planned projects gain significance especially when seen in the context of outflows of private capital from the economy and a weakening condition of the developer segment,” Sosna says.

Sosna is more optimistic then most developers about the number of projects that will be completed in time. “If just 80% of the projects planned for Euro 2012 are successfully completed, they will amount to [$21 billion], which is exactly the value of construction and assembly output generated by large construction companies in 2008,” Sosna says. “In the upcoming three years, projects related to Euro 2012 will come to the construction industry’s aid and they will provide a stimulus for the industry going forward.”

On the other hand, Ukraine has already completed a stadium in Dnipropetrovsk. Additional facilities will open this year in Donetsk and Kharkiv, with stadiums in Kiev, Odessa and Lviv planned to deliver in 2010. While the report points out the projects are all unlikely to complete on time, Ukraine is still much closer to the goal than Poland. Hotel and transportation projects are less likely to be completed in Ukraine due to developers postponing projects with the current economy.

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