Arja Vas, 23 October (STA) - The Slovenian subsidiary of the German discount supermarket chain Lidl opened a new EUR 70m logistics centre in Arja Vas near Celje on Wednesday.
According to Lidl Slovenija director-general Gregor Kosi, the new hub, spanning 13 hectares and with a surface area of 57,000 square metres, is Lidl's largest and most modern centre in Slovenia and the wider region.
Kosi announced that the move from Lidl's current centre, located in Komenda north of Ljubljana and half the size, would be completed in two weeks.
While the centre is expected to secure 100 new jobs, greater effectiveness in terms of shorter transport routes and thus a smaller greenhouse gas footprint was a key feature highlighted at the opening, which also featured Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek.
Bratušek praised the environmental-friendly design, which includes a solar panelled roof, saying it was in keeping with efforts to transform to a low carbon society as quickly as possible.
The ministry will also contribute by subsidising haulier purchases of high-end tires that reduce fuel use, she announced.
Bratušek said national motorway company DARS had already secure a temporary solution that will allow safe access to the centre to an expected 80 to 100 trucks daily. A long-term solution is planned in the coming years.
Lidl, which entered Slovenia 12 years ago, currently employs around 1,800 people in the country. It operated 57 stores, with Kosi announcing three more by the end of the year. The retailer has not yet decided whether to build an even larger regional logistics centre outside of Ljubljana as well.