largest producer of these materials,
although once upon a time we were among
You are a successful manager, and are
among few that does not avoid social
responsibilities. Could you reveal to us
how the symbiosis between a city and an
industrial company such as the Třinec
Ironworks is built?
businessmen and Třinec’s leadership had
already been established when we took
over operations in Třinec. They discussed
ideas on how to improve the quality of
life for residents. Nowadays, the smelter’s
leadership has regular meetings with the
city council, and I personally meet with
Mayor Palkovská to discuss similar matters
at least once a year.
We debate what we can do for the city
and what the city can do for us. Thanks
to that, we have been able to construct
an industrial zone together. We dedicated
part of the ironworks’ grounds to the city,
which took care of infrastructure and today
around five companies operate out of the
zone. Later, the city helped us with the
construction of a bridge at Baliny, meaning
that our trucks could avoid the city and
reach the ironworks site with greater ease.
I even recall that when the city bypass was
being built, the Třinec Ironworks released
funds for the first project study, which was
key for the bypass’ conception.
We are also expanding efforts to improve
the quality of life in the city, to prevent
people leaving due to dissatisfaction with
the fact that they would not have much to
do after work—going shopping or having
a way to spend their free time. From the
very beginning, we have supported sport
and cultural activities, whether hockey or
the construction of a new tennis hall. We
built a hotel, gradually updated the look of
the Trisia cultural venue and supported local
events. It is a great deal of effort aimed at
sports and cultural activities. To me, it would
seem that these endeavors are bearing fruit
and many people returning to the region are
satisfied with their life in Třinec.
Do you collaborate with the city on any
Yes, although some projects were recently
stunted due to COVID. There is an annual
event aimed at primary schools that is
focused on ecology, among other topics.
In collaboration with the city, we also host
ecological events every year, either planting
trees or revitalizing parks, helping with the
development of biodiversity or cleaning of
green areas, and much more. We always try
14 ǀ POSITIV 3/2021
to find a common goal that helps improve
You touched on the topic of education.
Your high school has been awarded twice
for aiding in the development of the
Moravian-Silesian Region in the category
of educational institutions. Could you tell
us more about the school?
The school has had a great reputation for
a while now. In 2009, we acquired it from
the public ownership it had been in since
the 90s. Back then, I was very involved in this
process. To permanently obtain the school
cost us a lot of money and effort. It was very
neglected when we bought it and we had
to invest several tens of millions of crowns
in reconstruction, the construction of new
specialised classrooms and new workshops.
The model of dual education has been in
place here for years. The school’s return
to the care of the Třinec Ironworks makes
sense and I am proud that I was there to
witness the conception of the entire project.
This inspired us with more
fighting spirit, and we decided
to show everyone that we were
How do you manage to keep the
graduates in their hometown?
We would love for all the graduates to stay
with us, however, that is not realistic. About
70% of them stay in Třinec but some scatter
around. We are very grateful for the ones
that stay. We try to prepare the educational
programs in a way that motivates as many of
the students to stay as possible. These days,
even young adults return to their hometown
upon finishing their university education—
not all of them, but a lot do.
We touched on ecology. Nowadays, the
European Green Deal is subject to many
debates. What is the Třinec Ironworks’
view on this topic?
Improving the environment is a very sensible
thing to focus on and, personally, I support
it. For the past three years, we have been
vehemently developing a way to continue
production while staying true to the promise
of the Třinec Ironworks for future generations
so that we can still be here come 2030 and
2050. The most complicated area for us has
been energetics, as we are currently using
coal as fuel. We are preparing to install new
fluid boilers that can also make use of other
Generally, smelters are very power hungry,
however, according to the principles of
circular economics, we are making use of
all metallurgical gases in reprocessing—blast
furnace, converter and coke oven.
Finally, steel is an infinitely recyclable
material; it perfectly fulfills the principles
of environmental sustainability and is
indispensable in reaching the climate goals
outlined by the European Union, particularly
through its role in railway transport, water
or wind energy and components for the
ecological automotive industry.
Therefore, the question of decreasing our
carbon footprint is constantly on our minds.
Another example is all of our administrative
buildings are powered by renewable
What qualities do you think a person in
your professional position should have?
What principle should they follow?
Always, under any circumstances, stay true
to your word. That is how you build your
reputation. If you make a promise and then
do not deliver it will come back around like
a boomerang. That is the principle I have
always followed. My grandmother always
told me, ‘No one is too wise not to be able
to learn from you and no one is too foolish
for you not to be able to learn from them.’
That is what I stick to.
As you are the president of the HC Oceláři
Třinec hockey club, sport must be dear to
you. Other than hockey, is there another
sport you take interest in?
Personally, I love to go skiing every winter,
though it may be limited as of right now.
For years now, I have also been playing
basketball with my friends and I used to play
football a lot as well. Throughout summer
I play a lot of golf and I am also the president
of our golf club in Ropice, where I have been
getting some great results.
If you were to recommend visiting guests
some good local cuisine, what would it be?
If they would like to get a taste of something
very regional, I would definitely recommend
‘placky se špekem’ (fritters with cracklings).
Those are the best.
Třinec recently celebrated its ninetieth
year since being given status as a city.
What would you wish for Třinec in these
next ten years?
I would definitely wish Třinec a nice and
happy life, good health and for many more
young and energetic people to stay in their
Thank you very much for the interview,