Poland's PKN Orlen plans to increase PVC capacity at offshoot Anwil

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PKN Orlen oil refiner and chemicals group says it is prepared to invest in increased production capacity at its PVC manufacturing subsidiary Anwil S.A. in Włocławek in central Poland.

The leading Polish oil and plastics group, fresh from consolidating its ownership of Unipetrol, the top Czech petchems producer, emphasised its commitment to develop both vinyl and nitrogen fertiliser businesses at Anwil.

Although Orlen previously considered selling off its fertiliser interests, reportedly to another Polish company Grupa Azoty, it has now stressed Anwil is one of the group’s key operations.

“Anwil is one of the most important members of the Orlen Group. We are focusing on further development of this company and have no plans to sell it,” PKN Orlen declared in a statement.

In line with its strategy, Orlen is planning to invest more than €232m to raise fertiliser output at Anwil’s Włocławek chemical complex. It is also prepared to boost its “petrochemical assets” by increasing the production of its PVC operation, the group said.

Investment in both main Anwil businesses is expected to strengthen significantly Orlen’s position in the vinyl and fertilisers markets. This will bring financial benefits not only to the group but also the local authorities and the region’s population, Orlen’s president Daniel Obajtek told a news conference in Włocławek.

Orlen revealed that Anwil’s fertilisers capacity is already 1m tpa, and output is set to rise by 430,000tpa or 40%. The project will lift the workforce by 200 by 2021.

But the Polish group few details on its expansion plans for Anwil’s PVC operation which currently runs two polymer plants, one of 200,000tpa and the other 140,000tpa.

Meanwhile, Anwil is carrying out research, in cooperation with Łódź University of Technology, into developing increased fire resistance in the PVC recipe. The firm received funding of almost €191,520 through the Polish government’s INNOCHEM programme to make the chemical sector more competitive.

If the research project is successful, Anwil will implement the technology for producing PVC-based ‘ceramising composites’. Their application in the construction industry will, among other things, help to increase the resistance of wire and cable coatings to fire.


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