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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 7, 2015
Business & Economy
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Propylene Production Plant Planned
May 7, 2015   
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Poland’s largest chemical company, Grupa Azoty, plans to build a zl.1.7 billion plant for the production of propylene with the so-called PDH method by 2019 in the town of Police in West Pomerania province. The plant will be the most modern and largest facility of its kind in Europe.

PDH, or Propane dehydrogenation, is a catalytic dehydrogenation technology to produce propylene from propane. After successfully completing the process of consolidation in the Polish chemical industry—based on a merger of the four largest plants in the sector, Tarnów, Puławy, Police and Kędzierzyn-KoĽle—the Azoty group is increasing its revenues every year and expanding its raw material and production base at the same time. After completing the consolidation process, the company increased its annual revenue to zl.9.8 billion, from zl.1.9 billion in 2010.

The new plant is expected to add a further zl.2 billion to the Azoty group’s annual revenue. The zl.1.7 billion project provides for the construction of an installation for the production of propylene, in addition to a power unit and the expansion of the Port of Police to include a liquid chemicals terminal. Ultimately, the terminal will handle Poland’s largest ships with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), doubling its operational capacity. The project will be completed over the next four years, and its impact on the Azoty group’s financial results will be visible in 2019. About 1,000 people will be working to build the plant. After production is launched about 200 workers will be employed on a permanent basis.

“We can be proud that our ‘national champion’ [Azoty] is carrying out innovative investment projects so important to the future of Polish industry,” said Treasury Minister Włodzimierz Karpiński. “The new plant is also part of the process of reindustrializing Europe. The production of propylene, an important chemical intermediate, opens the way to building further installations thanks to which Poland will be a major producer of even more technologically advanced plastics.”

With the new investment project, the significance and operational capacity of the Port of Police will grow. “Today, this [the Port of Police] is a bridge between Poland and Africa. In 2019, after the new terminal is launched, liquid chemicals and fuels will be handled, in addition to solid raw materials. Maximizing the use [of the terminal] and taking advantage of the geographical location of the Port of Police will help expand trade with our neighbors,” says Karpiński.

Thanks to investment in key chemical intermediates, the Azoty group says it is making the Polish chemical industry competitive internationally. “At the same time our revenue structure will be diversified, which will enhance the security of the company’s business and allow it to enter a new market segment subject to different business cycles,” said Paweł Jarczewski, CEO of Azoty Group. “As a result, the Azoty group will expand its range of products and gain new sales markets.”

Grupa Azoty will become a major European exporter of propylene and strengthen its position on international markets. The estimated production volume of the new plant will be around 400,000 metric tons of propylene. Krzysztof Jałosiński, chairman of the board at Grupa Azoty Police, said, “According to our estimates, around 60 percent of the output will be exported or used in other installations. The remaining volume will be sold within the Azoty group, including to the Kędzierzyn plant, meeting their total demand for propylene.”

The closure of existing propylene production installations based on old technology and growing demand for propylene in Europe will make Europe a net importer of propylene in the next few years. The new plant planned by the Azoty group, which will produce 400,000 metric tons of propylene per year—of which 150,000 will be used for the Azoty group’s own purposes—will position Poland as a major producer of this key chemical intermediate in Europe.

Alongside ethylene, propylene is one of the two most important raw materials for the chemical industry. It is essential for the production of plastics, for example.
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