European chemicals company Grupa Azoty has extended its output of technical plastics further with the production launch at a new 23.4-million-euro compounding plant in south eastern Poland.
The 50,000 metric-tons-per-year unit, constructed together with German technology partner Akro-Plastik GmbH. at Tarnów, will process product from its nearby 80,000 metric-tons-per-year nylon plant. The compounding facility is turning out modified plastics for sectors such as automotive, electronics, construction and mechanical engineering.
Tarnów-based Grupa Azoty is already Poland’s biggest manufacturer of nylon 6 thanks to integration with its own production of the raw material caprolactam at Tarnów and at Puławy in the east of the country.
With the addition of the 74 million euro Tarnów nylon plant in 2017, Azoty has taken its total nylon 6 capacity to 170,000 metric tons per year. That capability now matches its production level of caprolactam.
“In the field of engineering plastics, we have consistently followed a strategy of extending the product chain and ensuring the highest quality at every stage: from caprolactam ... converted to PA6 [sic] in the full viscosity range ... to various advanced modified materials with the addition of glass or carbon fibers,” explained Azoty group’s management board president Wojciech Wardacki.
This latest investment project is part of the group’s established strategy “to move from simple chemical synthesis products to advanced, modern materials that better meet the needs of an innovative economy," according Wardacki.
“Thanks to (the new facility), we will be able to implement much larger and more demanding projects, responding to the needs of our clients for specialized materials," predicted the group president.
The group’s compounding operation is just the latest in a string of significant investments Azoty is sinking to develop its plastics division. In northern Poland, it is about to start construction of a major 1.4 billion euro 440,000 metric tons per year polypropylene production plant, part of propylene complex in the port city of Police.
In December, Azoty said it was finalizing works connected with the construction of what is the Polish chemical industry’s largest current investment project.
Construction is due to begin in 2020 while the big PP plant is scheduled to be completed during 2022 when the facility is expected to reach its full annual output. “This will satisfy the entire national deficit of this product and be responsible for almost 10 percent of demand in the region of Central Europe,” said Grupa Azoty in a statement.
“Fertilizer production is and will remain the main area of our activity. We consistently strive to optimize the product portfolio by constantly improving current products ... But we also focus on the development of plastics to diversify revenues and develop innovative products.
“That is why, in Tarnów we have implemented investments related to polyamides and modified plastics, and in Police we are building a polypropylene production plant,” said group president Wardacki.