Grupa Azoty may now turn to polyamide 6 expansion: bank

07 June 2013 10:51  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Newly-consolidated Polish chemical group Grupa Azoty is unlikely to announce any more sizeable acquisitions in the near term but may be attracted into expanding its polyamide 6 (or nylon 6) production, a bank said on Friday.

Given the range of transactions already entered into by the group (formerly called Zaklady Azoty Tarnow), plus its option on joining Polish refiner Grupa Lotos in constructing a 1m tonne/year petrochemical complex in Gdansk, Grupa Azoty would probably hold off on more mergers and acquisitions-fuelled growth for now, WOOD & Company said.

However, the company might be set to reconfigure one aspect of its investment activity, namely by scrapping plans to build caprolactam (capro) capacity in China, in favour of moving down the capro feedstock value chain by increasing its polyamide 6 capacity, added Piotr Drozd, a chemical industry analyst at the bank.

“Asia constitutes [Grupa Azoty subsidiary] Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy’s key capro sales market, but following China’s dynamic capro production capacity expansion, Asia’s import demand has dropped considerably,” Drozd said.

“Apart from seeking larger exposure to capro growth markets via investments in Asia, the strategic options include moving down the value chain and focusing on polyamide 6 production and limiting output,” he added.

On Wednesday, state-controlled Grupa Azoty said it had signed an agreement with Poland’s treasury ministry for the acquisition of an 85% stake in Polish sulphur mining company Zaklady Chemiczne Siarkopol, in a move that will vertically integrate the company’s liquid sulphur feedstock supply.

On Thursday, a source at Grupa Azoty nitrogen phosphorus potassium (NPK) unit Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP) disclosed that ZChP was nearing a deal for the acquisition of phosphate deposits in Senegal.

In March, Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) – itself acquired by Grupa Azoty in January – said it had submitted a bid for Zaklady Chemiczne Organika-Sarzyna, a maker of plant protection chemicals and epoxy and polyester resins, which is currently owned by another state-controlled Polish chemical group, Ciech.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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