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MERKO’s main contracting projects in the first half of this year: NATO facilities and wind farms

In the first half of 2023, UAB Merko Statyba signed three new construction contracts collectively valued at over EUR 160 million.

”The prevailing scenario necessitates multifaceted contributions to fortify Lithuania’s security. Our foremost commitment involves building NATO facilities, designed to ensure troop preparedness and the presence of allied partners, thereby deterring potential provocations from hostile neighbouring entities. Concurrently, we are engineering the groundwork for wind farms, a strategic effort aimed at harnessing wind energy to bolster Lithuania’s energy independence”, commented Saulius Putrimas, Head of MERKO in Lithuania, on the recent trends in the landscape of contracting projects.

Signed contracts promise large volumes of work

The largest contract signed this semester is with NSPA (NATO Support and Procurement Agency). The planned work here involves the design and establishment of an instructional complex in Pabradė, with work already underway.

Parallel contracts include the development of transformer substations for wind farms and the actualisation of wind farm structures. UAB Merko statyba has become a prominent wind farm developer in Lithuania. The project scope is diverse, ranging from basic foundation pouring in some cases to BoP scope wind farm construction encompassing foundational, infrastructural, and logistical aspects like drainage, roadways, power grids, and essential documentation. All this work is carried out by a professional and dedicated workforce. Presently, MERKO is actively engaged in the advancement of seven distinct wind projects.

According to S. Putrimas, the situation with regard to contracting projects this year and the previous one is contrasting: The midpoint of 2023 witnessed UAB Merko Statyba’s turnover from general contracting amounting to EUR 21.3 million, indicating a 37% decline compared to the analogous period in the prior year (EUR 34 million), while in the whole of 2022 only contracting contracts valued at a mere EUR 13 million were signed. This situation is attributed to the recurring factors: Russia’s actions in Ukraine, inflationary pressures, and the energy crisis. These elements had a pronounced dampening effect on investment in the preceding year. The contracts executed at the onset of 2023 evoke a sense of optimism, suggesting a noteworthy increase in the turnover derived from contracting projects for the ongoing year.

The number of apartments available for sale is growing

A notable proprietary project of MERKO is the development known as Vilnelės skverai. Situated in Markučiai, in proximity to the Old Town, positioned between Užupis and Belmontas, this residential enclave takes shape within the ambit of the Architektūros parkas conversion project, initiated by Vilnius City Municipality.

In the first half of this year, a total of 100 apartments were successfully transacted within this project, facilitated by preliminary contracts, constituting a significant increase compared to 67 such transactions recorded during the corresponding period of the preceding year. A progressive rise is seen in the number of apartments sold, as evidenced by a comparison to the preceding quarter of this year, wherein 43 preliminary contracts were concluded for the acquisition of apartments.

“Buyers are interested in novel and high-quality projects situated in favourable locations,” S. Putrimas offers insights on the growing sales. We notice the consistent interest in our project, coupled with the proclivity of buyers to undertake thorough evaluations of their financial capabilities while making considered housing choices. Central to our objectives is the nuanced comprehension of market dynamics, with the aim to provide clientele residences aligned with their needs and high quality standards.”

According to him, the existing market dynamics does not allow for complete relaxation, with persistently elevated construction costs, high inflation and increased loan costs. However, both sales and construction are progressing smoothly, with the construction of the third stage of Vilnelės skverai achieved within the predefined schedule, and the residential units of the Kaukysa stage are currently under construction.

“The ongoing construction of new houses has enabled us to consistently expand the selection of apartments available for our customers. Prospective buyers are provided with the opportunity to select apartments based on their preferences and requirements. The options encompass units within the completed houses currently accessible for viewing, as well as those within houses that are still in the construction phase. Furthermore, we extend an additional offering to potential buyers in the form of fully furnished apartments, ready for immediate occupancy,” the Head of MERKO Lithuania affirms.