HGK presents master plan for innovative industrial and logistics site FUSION COLOGNE in the north of Cologne
Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln AG (HGK) presents its development concept for a state-of-the-art combined industrial and logistics site in the north of Cologne, Germany. After the company first informed about the development of a master plan for the up to 550,000 square meter planning area not far from the Rhine ports Niehl 1 and 2 in March this year, a detailed overall concept for the area is now available. It envisages integrating different industries and stages of the value chain in one location in order to facilitate cooperation and generate new innovative power. An objective that is also expressed in the name of the new quarter: FUSION COLOGNE.
Synergetic mix of uses and optimal connections
One of the concept’s central approaches is the combination of production and logistics, which minimizes transport routes and handling processes. Buildings for manufacturing companies, storage and logistics, offices, research and development as well as social facilities are planned on the flexibly divisible plots. Building heights of up to 22 meters allow for high space utilization and urban vertical production concepts over several floors. Up to 2,000 jobs could be created here – in a synergetic mix of uses in which each of the companies benefits not only from the sustainable technological equipment of the quarter, but also from the competences of the other resident companies.
What also predestines FUSION COLOGNE for the successful settlement of a large variety of businesses are its infrastructural location advantages based on a trimodal logistics offer: An efficient bimodal transshipment terminal for combined transport (CT) with six tracks for block trains supports a sensible and a greatest possible environmentally friendly steering of the flow of goods. The same applies to the fast connections to the Niehler Rhine harbor and the nearby highway network in the north of Cologne. Up to four plots in the south of the planning area can be directly connected to the CT terminal. Within the new quarter, there will also be a customized incoming goods and distribution logistics including warehousing, international forwarding and other demand-oriented services. A central delivery service and a packing station with distribution service are planned for small-volume goods. Optimal connection also includes the construction of a 5G campus network. This can be used for numerous digital applications in the area – from the inflow control of all goods flows to autonomous transport applications in the quarter.
Sustainable development and a healthy working environment
In line with the city strategy “Cologne Perspectives 2030+”, the development concept not only focuses on intelligent mixing in the new quarter, but also brings together ecological factors, resource-saving mobility and the health and well-being of the people who will work here in the future. For example, the energy concept provides for a uniform, climate-friendly heat supply for FUSION COLOGNE and the renunciation of fossil fuels while minimizing the primary energy demand. Photovoltaics on the hall roofs will provide electricity directly on site. Reducing the ecological footprint also includes the target of greening around 30 percent of the façades. From the very beginning, the goal is a steady reduction in CO2 emissions as a contribution to the planned climate neutrality of the city of Cologne by 2035.
“In order to realize sustainability at the highest level in a modern industrial quarter like FUSION COLOGNE, it is important to think holistically about ecology and economy,” says Uwe Wedig, Chairman of the Executive Board of HGK AG. “This means that we are not focusing solely on implementing the targets for energy-efficient construction and an intelligent mobility concept in the quarter. Rather, we are continuously working on our sustainability concept in order to be able to adapt it to future, even more ambitious standards. And last but not least, it is of central importance for us to keep people’s well-being in mind by creating a healthy, stimulating working environment. This work-life fusion, with which we bring work and leisure together here, is nowadays a factor not to be underestimated in the competition for qualified, motivated employees.” Accordingly, sports and leisure facilities, a central canteen for healthy and balanced nutrition and other attractive services were also integrated into the planning. The conceptual design of the recreational areas close to nature and the green spaces with a high quality of stay is not only based on ecological considerations, but is also intended to improve the health and well-being of the employees.
Climate-friendly mobility concept
FUSION COLOGNE will be connected to a public transport bus line with up to four stops on the site so that the people who will be working here in the future can travel to and from the site in a way that is both environmentally friendly and comfortable. Modern electric buses will be used on this line right from the start. Extensive electromobilization with corresponding services is also planned for individual transport in the quarter. This includes a mobility station with sharing offers for e-bikes and e-scooters as well as the possibility to quickly exchange batteries. The basis for this low-emission mobility concept in the quarter is a high-performance charging infrastructure on the entire site, which also includes charging stations for electrified trucks.
Timely start of construction
The realization of the presented development concept for FUSION COLOGNE will begin in the third quarter of 2023 after preparatory work on the southern development area, parts of which have already been developed. Construction on the northern development area is planned from the end of 2025.
About HGK Group:
Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln AG (HGK) is the logistics company within the Stadtwerke Köln Group. From the operator of the Cologne ports, HGK has developed into a Europe-wide group for integrated transport and logistics services. Divided into the five business divisions Logistics and Intermodal, Shipping, Rail Operations, Infrastructure and Maintenance and Real Estate, the HGK Group operates through its subsidiaries and affiliates, among other things, Germany’s largest inland port network, one of the largest private freight railways, specialized logistics operations and terminals as well as its own rail network and workshop operations for rail freight transport. HGK Shipping GmbH is the largest inland shipping company in Europe. The project company of the same name was founded in 2022 for the development, marketing and operation of the integrated production and logistics area FUSION COLOGNE.