Azoty reacts to China capro growth with nylon-6-for-Europe plan

02 April 2014 14:04 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--China's continuing accumulation of self-sufficiency in caprolactam (capro) production has persuaded Poland's Grupa Azoty to adopt a more Europe-centric strategy, the company said on Wednesday.

More than two million tonnes/year of additional capro capacity is expected to be built in China from now until 2017, following the several hundred thousand tonnes/year that has been brought on stream in the past two years, it added.

Two years ago, Grupa Azoty announced it was planning to construct its own capro installation in either China or Taiwan. However, by July last year the company had scrapped the project, recognising the extent of rival capro plant investments in East Asia.

On Tuesday, Grupa Azoty announced a Zl320m (€77m) investment in building an 80,000 tonne/year polyamide 6 (nylon 6) installation which will utilise capro feedstock produced by the firm at its production site in Tarnow, southeastern Poland.

Instead of focusing on driving up sales of capro in East Asia and even establishing capro production there, Grupa Azoty said it was now prioritising “becoming a regional hub for supplying added-value polyamides and composite semi-products in Europe”.

“In Poland, for example, due to the importance of the automotive sector and other industries using structural fibres, the demand for plastics is growing,” it added.

The operation of the planned polyamide 6 installation is scheduled to begin in 2016.

(€1 = Zl4.17)

 

By Will Conroy