From design to product: Grupa Azoty Polyolefins to enter polypropylene market

31st Economic Forum Expert Features

Grupa Azoty Polyolefins S.A., a special purpose vehicle of the Grupa Azoty Group, is engaged in what ranks as one of the largest capex projects ever undertaken in the European petrochemical industry, designated as Polimery Police. The project will help diversify the Group’s business, while reinforcing Poland’s competitive position on the European market of plastic producers.

The purpose of Polimery Police is to build an integrated petrochemical complex that will comprise a propylene dehydrogenation plant and a polypropylene production plant, with an annual capacity of up to 437 thousand tonnes. The two key plants have been designed using state-of-the-art technology for great production flexibility and ability to deliver a wide range of polypropylene types. The project also includes the construction of a gas terminal complete with handling and storage infrastructure for sourcing production feedstock by sea.

“Polimery Police is a project of strategic importance to the Polish petrochemical industry. It has been conceived as our response to the growing demand for polypropylene seen both at home and on the European market. Since Poland has long been a net importer of polypropylene, a significant part of the volume produced by Grupa Azoty Polyolefins S.A. will be sold domestically,” says Tomasz Hinc, President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty S.A.

The Polimery Police complex is being constructed under an EPC contract.
The contract was signed on May 11th 2019 between Grupa Azoty Polyolefins S.A. and its Korean partner Hyundai Engineering Company, Ltd. Formal handover of the construction site to the general contractor took place on January 7th 2020. The total budget of Polimery Police exceeds USD 1.8bn.

“As at the end of May 2022, the overall stage of completion of the EPC contract was close to 93%, with all major equipment delivered and installed. Integrity testing is currently scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2023. Its completion corresponds to the date when the plant will be ready for commercial operation. However, the launch of production is planned already at the commissioning stage, scheduled for the first quarter of 2023,” says the CEO of Grupa Azoty Polyolefins S.A.Andrzej Niewiński.

Polypropylene is a highly versatile plastic. Given its physical and chemical properties, it is a key material for application across numerous industries, including food, automotive, construction and medical. The polypropylene licences selected by the Company are characterised by low energy intensity of the production process and repeatably high product quality. This means that negligible amounts of waste are generated, with relatively low emissions of CO2 and other harmful substances. Notably, polypropylene is a fully recyclable plastic, finding its ‘second life’ in everyday consumer items, which makes it perfectly compatible with the Circular Economy concept.