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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 16, 2008
Anwil-Successful Relationship Between Science and Industry
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Knowing How to Compete
April 16, 2008   
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Regulations in Poland are conducive to the development of innovation. The free-market economy has eliminated most unprofitable companies. Those that remain are strong and know how to compete. Consequently everything depends on initiative, systems that support innovation, a company's managers and its intellectual resources.

Anwil SA, part of the largest business corporation in Poland-the Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen SA Capital Group-is one of the largest and, despite its 40-year history, one of the most modern companies in Poland's chemical sector.

Anwil SA focuses on three core businesses: production of polyvinyl chloride, its partial processing which includes making granulated products and mixtures, and production of nitrogenous fertilizers. This production potential is being upgraded to cutting-edge technology, while management is organized according to the best models and methods. This leads to production cost optimization as well as utilization of existing reserves. This has a decidedly positive impact on improving the competitiveness of products and translates into broader sales markets when coupled with active marketing. One positive symptom of market development came with EU accession, which also created prospects for further investments.

An innovation policy was initiated at Anwil a long time ago. The last 10 years have seen intensive investment in modernization and development, and implementation of projects based on purchased licenses as well as in-house projects. As a relatively small company, Anwil does not have its own research and development center. There is a unit for designing products (new formulas adjusted to customer requirements) in the complex that produces granulated products and dry mixtures from polyvinyl chloride. The main technological progress is achieved through the purchase of licenses. Smaller-scale innovations are introduced by the company's engineers based on their own know-how, in cooperation with suppliers of auxiliary chemicals and catalysts or with R&D units. Problem-solving is the domain of interdisciplinary task forces for dealing with specific issues.

Licenses have allowed the company to carry out a number of important projects for improving production processes and increasing system capacity. An installation for recovering hydrogen chloride from waste chloroorganic compounds was built in the late 1990s based on a license and equipment from Vichem (France). Soon after, a license and key equipment was purchased from Uhde GmbH for a newly built nitro-chalk production facility. The technological process at the vinyl chloride production plant was modernized and capacity was increased from 200,000 metric tons per year to 300,000 tons under license from OxyVinyls of the United States. The facility producing chlorine and soda lye, which opened in January 2006, was modernized and expanded. The technical solutions used ensure the plant's full compliance with the EU's BAT (Best Available Technology) standards. This was another license from Uhde GmbH. Late last year a catalytic installation reducing nitrogen oxide from the nitric acid production facility was built under license from SCR of Britain. In-house projects were the basis for modernization of technological processes and for increasing production capacity of the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production facility from 200,000 metric tons per year to 300,000 tons.

Modernization and expansion of the industrial waste treatment plant and construction of a biological treatment unit was also based on in-house work in cooperation with Chemeko. Finally, the ammonia production facility was modernized in cooperation with the Institute of Chemical Fertilizers and Prozap. In-house work was also the source of several smaller projects to improve energy efficiency, utilize waste heat for heating water and use steam from fertilizer production lines to generate electricity.

Thanks to a pro-innovation policy, one of Anwil's subsidiaries developed and began the production of unique chemical fertilizers used to feed specific plant crops, with specially selected microelements.

Anwil also takes care to minimize the impact of its business operations on the environment. Especially important in this regard are successful investments from the past decade which included the construction and modernization of liquid and solid waste treatment infrastructure.

As a result of its successful initiatives, the company currently has the latest, state-of-the-art world technology which, thanks to Anwil's own engineers, has been further improved so that the company's results are comparable with other users of such technology worldwide.

In total, in 1998-2007 Anwil invested zl.1.29 billion, of which 70 percent was spent on modernizing technological processes and the rest on replacement of capital assets and environmental protection.

W.Z.

As a result of its successful initiatives, the company currently has the latest, state-of-the-art world technology which, thanks to Anwil's own engineers, has been further improved so that the company's results are comparable with other users of such technology worldwide.
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