Azoty, Lotos mull third investor option for Gdansk petchem complex

17 December 2013 11:43 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland's Grupa Azoty and Grupa Lotos are considering bringing in a third partner to help in the realisation of their planned Gdansk petrochemical complex,  Grupa Azoty said on Tuesday.

The partner would probably be foreign and capable of delivering certain technological knowhow to the project, expected to cost around €3bn ($4.1bn) and to be constructed from 2016-2018 in Gdansk on Poland's Baltic Sea coast, it added.

A preliminary decision has been taken by Azoty and Lotos to build a complex centred on an ethylene cracker rather than an aromatics extraction plant.

That is despite analysts warning that the massive ethylene cracker investments expected to take place in the US in the next five years on the back of cheap local shale gas feedstock might make the prospects of such an Azoty/Lotos investment highly questionable.

Poland's government, which controls both largest Polish chemical producer Azoty and second largest Polish refiner Lotos through shareholdings held by the treasury ministry, has supported the investment plan arguing it could help to cut Poland’s chemicals and primary plastics annual trade deficit of around €4bn.

A final decision on whether to go ahead with the investment is to be taken in 2014.

($1 = €0.73)

By Will Conroy