10 December 2012 17:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Grupa Azoty, the major state-backed Polish chemical company to be launched following a merger in the new year, will announce a two-year capital expenditure (capex) budget of around zloty (Zl) 2bn ($630m, €490m), the Polish treasury ministry said on Monday.
The group, to be formed from merging Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) and Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) - should invest with the understanding that the government sees the chemical industry as a strategic sector of the Polish economy, Polish treasury minister Mikolaj Budzanowski said.
The Zl 2bn does not include any investments that will be made by ZAT, and later by Grupa Azoty, in relation to a plan to link up with refiner Grupa Lotos to build a Zl 6bn petrochemical complex in Gdansk that will target production of 1m tonnes/year, he added.
“But the Gdansk project will eventually mean there will be a bridge between the petrochemical industry in southern Poland [where ZAT and ZAP have their installations] and the coastal development,” Budzanowski said.
Grupa Azoty, which the treasury says will have the second-largest fertilizer production capacity in Europe, would spend some of the capex on expanding solid fertilizer production, as well as ammonia storage, power plant requirements and developing sales networks, the treasury ministry said.
The group, and Poland's chemical industry in general, should be looking at cutting Poland's annual chemical trade deficit of approximately Zl 8bn, the minister said.
It would also consider possible shale gas exploration and production opportunities, he added.
At 3.5bn cubic metres/year, Grupa Azoty's gas consumption will equate to approximately one-quarter of Poland's gas consumption.
Poland imports around 70% of its consumed gas from Russia.
($1 = €0.78, $1 = Zl 3.20, €1 = Zl 4.12)
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