Polska Chemia Congress in Puławy
The chemical sector should build demand for its products, foster the growth of domestic manufacturing companies, at the same time develop the national economy. These were the main conclusions presented by experts at Polska Chemia 2014 Congress. Grupa Azoty was the strategic partner of the event.
Building demand, building downstream
During the Congress, a number of issues which are going to be crucial for the Polish chemical industry in the near future were discussed. “The sector now exports goods worth 22 billion PLN. It is a positive trend, as export is what gives our economy momentum. However, do we cooperate enough within the Polish chemical business? If we cooperated closely on the market, maybe these 22 billion could stay stay in Poland rather than be shipped abroad?” – wondered the Chairman of the Board of Grupa Azoty, Paweł Jarczewski.
He also stressed the fact that it is important to build demand for products, to build downstream, and to develop domestic manufacturing, which might bring the development of the whole economy, or is exactly what Poland needs. Working on the domestic market, the chemical companies ought to strive towards this goal together and create demand. The products which are now exported could be made use of by Polish manufacturers.
Obstacles for development
Another conclusion which came up during the Congress in Puławy is that the Polish chemical industry is far from being consolidated. Tomasz Zieliński, the head of the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry quoted the following figures proving fragmentation: the 250,000 employees of the sector work for as many as 11,000 various businesses.
The Polish chemical industry also struggles with foreign trade exchange deficit, which runs in billion of euro. The Chairman of the Chamber hoped that the investments which are currently under way were going to contribute to the improvement of the trade balance. However, development might be hampered by the environmental regulations imposed by the European Union and the preliminary clauses of the Free Trade Agreement negotiated between the EU and the USA.
Cooperation of Lotos and Grupa Azoty
Despite those limitations, Polish chemistry is regarded as an innovative sector, and business with perspectives for the future. Currently, we are working on a feasibility study for a petrochemical project, which is a joint venture of Lotos and Grupa Azoty.
“From 2000 to 2010 the consumption of fuel grew by 50 percent. This trend has slowed down and then halted in the recent years. The market is becoming saturated, which is why we are interested in downstream growth. I am not speaking of petrochemicals only, but also about other potential of oil refineries” – said Marek Sokołowski, the Vice Chairman of Grupa Lotos.