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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 13, 2015
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New Strategy for Grupa Azoty
December 13, 2015   
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Competitiveness, innovation and a focus on pioneering solutions meeting the needs of both Polish and foreign customers—this is how Grupa Azoty (the Azoty group), a CEEP member and Poland’s biggest chemicals producer, plans to respond to market demand under its new strategy.

The company is the European Union’s second-largest producer of mineral fertilizers and the national leader in the production of polyamides, oxo alcohols, plasticizers and pigments. As part of its new strategy, the company wants to further strengthen its market position through moves including an ambitious investment program. The group wants to carry out 68 projects with a total value of more than zl.7 billion by 2020.

Grupa Azoty was created as a result of consolidation of the country’s chemical companies, a process that got under way in 2010. Grupa Azoty brings together more than 50 businesses, including companies in Germany and Senegal. Businesses making up the group complement each other in production, trade, design, repairs, logistics and drilling work. In total, the group has more than 14,000 employees. As a result of consolidation, the chemicals industry has become a strategic sector in the Polish economy with potential for further development.

Investing billions

Azoty is set to be a huge construction site until 2020. A total of 68 investment projects worth more than zl.7 billion in total will be carried out, including the construction of two power plants in Puławy and Kędzierzyn, a new installation for the production of propylene in the northwestern town of Police (along with the expansion of the local wharf), three new lines for the production of nitrate fertilizers, and a new installation for the production of polyamide 6 in the southern city of Tarnów. Grupa Azoty will finance this program in part from its own funds and in part through loan agreements. At the end of April this year, the group’s managers signed a zl.1.5 billion revolving loan agreement with a consortium of Polish banks. The agreement is part of a package of long-term financing to the tune of zl.2.2 billion in total. The group has also signed a zl.700 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The loan will be granted for 10 years.

Food security

Grupa Azoty is a strategic component of the Polish economy not only because it consumes nearly 20 percent of Poland’s annual demand for natural gas but mainly because it produces nitrogenous fertilizers, which are a key link in the food production chain. Today, more than half the planet’s population needs nitrogen fertilizers to feed itself—such fertilizers are an essential factor behind high crop yields. For several years, representatives from Grupa Azoty have taken the floor internationally addressing food security issues in order to wisely influence EU legislation in this area. Domestically, Azoty is in active dialogue with agricultural producers to better adapt its range of products to specific crops. It also shares its knowledge of effective fertilizing so as to minimize its impact on the environment. Poland’s agriculture, much as the chemical industry, has undergone an impressive transformation, achieving great success in Europe and becoming a symbol of the modern economy.

Grupa Azoty has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2008, and since 2009 it has been part of the Respect Index of companies abiding by the principles of corporate social responsibility. In 2014, the group generated sales revenue of nearly zl.10 billion.
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