Ciech mulls 200,000 tonne/year soda ash expansion in Poland

08 May 2013 11:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European soda ash producer Ciech is looking at expanding its capacity in Poland to 1.4m tonnes/year from 1.2m tonnes/year, the Polish group said on Wednesday.

Ciech would spend zloty (Zl) 230m ($72.8m, €55.6m) on the expansion if it went ahead, group spokesman Mariusz Babula added.

On 26 April, a Ciech source confirmed the company stood ready to sell or liquidate its Romanian and German soda ash operations if restructuring efforts do not sufficiently improve profitability.

The soda ash capacity of Romanian unit US Govora Ciech is 430,000 tonnes/year, while that of German unit Sodawerk Stassfurt is 580,000 tonnes/year.

Facing demands from the Polish treasury ministry, its controlling shareholder, to stem losses at the group, the company's new management last year took the decision to widen Ciech’s divestment strategy and focus on core production units.

In October last year, this led to Ciech selling assets of its Zachem  toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) business to German chemicals giant BASF, with the move spelling the end of the Polish producer's involvement in TDI, due to a non-competition obligation embedded in the deal.

($1 = €0.76, $1 = Zl 3.16, €1 = Zl 4.14)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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