Grupa Azoty is Poland’s largest and one of European major chemical industry players as well as a pinnacle of long evolution of Polish chemical industry. The company has concentrated complementary units with different traditions and expertise to make use of their potential and to implement a common strategy. This gave rise to the largest Polish and one of the largest European chemical companies. Owing to a well-thought-out architecture, the Group can offer its customers a diversified product portfolio – from mineral fertilizers and engineering plastics through OXO alcohols and plasticizers to pigments. Many of them are recognized commercial brands which have enjoyed an excellent reputation. Their high quality is confirmed by numerous certificates and branch awards. Own R&D, design and servicing units allow the Group to render various services, whereas its innovative technological solutions are implemented across the world. More on the company, its new investments and position in the market in a Manufacturing Journal article written by Aleksandra Strojek.
Grupa Azoty has been always a project geared towards the future. When in 1927 the then President of Poland decided to build a State Factory of Nitrogen Compounds, this was very much a vision for the future, the vision of a great Polish chemicals industry. This vision is corporate mission for the coming decades and so far it has turned out to be the right direction – Grupa Azoty is competing with the biggest chemicals companies in Europe and the Group’s products were sold in over 50 countries worldwide in 2009-2012. The advantage of Grupa Azoty over its competitors lies in its broad and diverse range of chemical products, which are adjusted to demand cycle variables, as well as in its ability to react quickly to the needs of the chemical fertilizers market. The Group has at its disposal a well-developed logistics infrastructure and system-based solutions, which ensure maximum efficiency when it comes to supplying raw materials and shipping goods. All that allows the company to report excellent financial results. In 2014 Grupa Azoty proved better than the original forecast – revenue from sales approached 9.9 billion PLN (as compared to 9.8 billion in 2013), while the net income was 265 million PLN.
For the last couple of years Grupa Azoty has been changing the image of Polish chemical industry. The ventures of the company make it one of the most innovative industries in Poland. It derives from the long term strategy of the enterprise – one of its pillars is new investments. At the current moment the company is managing projects worth more than four billion PLN. Until the end of 2020 it plans to channel seven billion PLN into investments. Their scale will make them the largest undertakings of their type in Poland. All the investments have one common trait – innovation. Owing to that, Grupa Azoty manages to build its market leader position. Until the year 2020 two new power plants – in Puławy and Kędzierzyn, a new PDH unit for propylene production in the town of Police or a new Polyamide 6 Plant in Tarnów will join into the list of company’s assets. Still, it is just a part of the ambitious plans for the future. Grupa Azoty plans to realize 68 various investments. Thanks to the projects scheduled until 2020 the enterprise intends to maintain key market player position in the area of fertilizers & plastics manufacturing in Europe. For an innovative company thinking about development and new investments comes down to looking for new and state of the art technological solutions. According to the strategy 1% of the corporate income is dedicated to support R&D sector.
In terms of product development, Grupa Azoty skillfully combines its own research facilities with cooperation with numerous external research units, both domestic and international. It allows the enterprise to market new goods or variations of existing ones as well as to co-operate closely with customers so as to satisfy their individual needs. Grupa Azoty focuses on the production of inorganic fertilizers, caprolactam, structural materials and other highly processed chemicals. The Group is also the largest supplier of ammonia and phosphoric acid in Poland. The scale of its production of multi-component fertilizers sets the Group apart as market leader in Poland and allowed it to emerge as one of the largest producers of fertilizers of this type in Europe. The variety and volume of nitrogenous fertilizers offered by the Group makes it the second largest entity on the Polish market and a significant European supplier in terms of market share. Product development is an on-going process within the company. Just recently, at the end of April 2015, one of the entities of the Group – Zakłady Azotowe Kędzierzyn S.A. – has expanded its product mix with the introduction of Oxoviflex, the first Polish non-phthalic plasticizer. The new product is a response to the growing demand for innovative solutions for the PVC processing market. Thanks to the most advanced plasticizer unit in this part of Europe, Grupa Azoty will be able to produce 50,000 tonnes of Oxoviflex per year. The new plasticizer in the Grupa Azoty portfolio may be successfully applied to a wide range of PVC products, including floor coverings, vinyl wallpapers, flexible pipes, cable insulation and coverings, faux leather, foil and packaging. It is also one of the most advanced general purpose plasticizers, not only of excellent quality, but also competitively priced compared with similar products available on the market. As opposed to phthalic plasticizers, Oxoviflex can be used to manufacture toys and goods that come into contact with foodstuffs. Oxoviflex has already gained recognition from the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, which has named it the Polish Product of the Future. Another innovative product in the portfolio of Grupa Azoty is Tarnamid, a fungicide and germicide material, which has been distinguished with many awards at the recent Plastpol 2015 fair. The mission of Grupa Azoty for the future includes further strengthening its market position, widening its international reach and guaranteeing harmonious development of the subsidiaries – the most precious asset of the Group. The success induces responsibility and therefore the strategy of the Group contains not only targets and economic indices but also rules and regulations of sustainable development, i.e. care for the environment and local people.