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Grupa Azoty has published a strategy for 2030 that aims to implement the requirements of the European Green Deal to achieve climate neutrality. The Group intends to invest in RES, as well as in alternative energy sources such as small modular nuclear power plants. In addition, in response to a growing demand for polyolefins, the company will develop the Polimery Police project and plans to achieve a stable market position for the new business segment.
Grupa Azoty’s strategy for the coming years is based on the requirements of the European Green Deal, under which countries aim to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In order to achieve the European targets, companies must develop a long-term business plan that includes investments necessary to manage raw materials efficiently, introduce new catalysts that reduce greenhouse gas loads and obtain energy from renewable sources.
Zielone Azoty in the Agro segment
According to Tomasz Hinc, President of Grupa Azoty, one of the projects that fits into the strategy of ecological transformation is Zielone Azoty (Green Azoty). This is a Strategic Corporate Project which assumes the use of green industrial energy, reduction of emissions and decarbonisation. The assumptions of the project will be visible in many segments of Grupa Azoty, including the Agro business. As Tomasz Hinc explains, the company is introducing biodegradable fertiliser pellets developed in collaboration with the German company Compo Expert and fertilisers for forest areas based on waste streams and phosphogypsum. The Group will also continue its activities related to satellite imaging techniques, which find their application in precision agriculture. In addition, the Group’s offer will include products for organic farming, which will support sustainable agriculture.
Furthermore, Grupa Azoty will manufacture plastics based on a Closed Circle Economy strategy and new products will be created from recycled waste. Both the production plants’ own waste and waste obtained from the external market will be used for this purpose. As a result, Grupa Azoty will be able to manufacture plastic products that have a low environmental impact.
Grupa Azoty invests in RES
Another step towards meeting the requirements of climate policy is to reduce emissions by switching from coal-based to more environmentally friendly energy sources. Grupa Azoty intends to diversify its energy sources to include natural gas, photovoltaics, wind farms and biomass energy production. By 2024, the group also plans to conduct analyses of small modular nuclear power plants, the so-called SMRs.
Currently, Azoty Group plans to make RES investments on its own assets, i.e. within its factories, but the company does not rule out joining external projects in the future. By 2030, The Group would like the installed capacity of renewable energy sources to reach approximately 300 MV, and the share of RES in its own electricity production to reach at least 40%.
Moreover, Grupa Azoty is planning to implement decarbonisation projects, which are to reduce CO2 emissions in 2030 by approximately 800,000 tonnes. As Tomasz Hinc emphasises, the Group will allocate PLN 2.7bn for green investments, which will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its products.
Grupa Azoty’s raw materials policy
According to the President of Grupa Azoty, 70% of its total operating costs are attributable to product and energy raw materials, the supply of which is dependent on external companies. Therefore, the Group intends to increase its activities in terms of using its own raw material assets, also in order to be able to increase the share of green energy in the energy mix.
Development plan for Grupa Azoty
The Group’s strategy is to allocate 2-3% of its revenues to research, development and innovation to maintain its competitive edge and create new and improved high-quality products that will be in line with the climate and energy transition policy. One of the business segments being developed is polyolefins, which are used in Grupa Azoty’s flagship investment called Polimery Police. The new investment is the Group’s response to market demands, including those triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. As Tomasz Hinc explains, the increased use of plastics in the form of packaging, protective measures and in the medical industry has encouraged the Group to invest in the plastics market, including the production of polypropylene.
The implemented project will make Poland one of the leaders in the plastics segment and the largest producer of polypropylene among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The new investment will create about 400 new jobs both in the company and in related companies dealing with, e.g. polypropylene transport.
In addition to polypropylene production, Grupa Azoty also wants to develop its research and development area, including the use of hydrogen generated in the PDH process. Currently, Grupa Azoty is the largest producer of hydrogen in Poland, and thanks to the Zielone Azoty project, the company will be able to produce “green hydrogen” from electrolysers powered by RES. The company also wants to develop hydrogen technology with a view to using it in the automotive industry. Therefore, work is being carried out on the development of fuel cells and the Group wants to create a laboratory for the accreditation of hydrogen for use in fuel cells in transport. The laboratory will be opened in Kędzierzyn-Koźle and will be one of the few such places in Poland where it will be possible to analyse all the parameters required in the automotive industry.
As announced by Tomasz Hinc, Grupa Azoty plans to actively participate in the work on European regulations regarding the classification of hydrogen as a green fuel and this is one of many initiatives of the form concerning the construction of hydrogen economy.
Grupa Azoty in the fertiliser and chemical industry
Grupa Azoty is one of the European leaders in the fertilizer and chemical industry, operating on four continents besides Europe: North and South America, Asia and Africa. The company employs over 15,000 people who work in more than 50 companies. Grupa Azoty operates in such segments as fertilizers, plastics, chemicals and energy, which means that the company’s products appear in every strategic sector of the economy. Such a wide range of the Group’s activities means that without its participation and the involvement of its competitors, it is impossible to speak of the implementation of the European Green Deal. That is why, in its ESG strategy, Grupa Azoty has set goals the achievement of which will not only make it possible to produce fertilizers, plastics and chemical products in a more environmentally friendly way but will also contribute to improving the quality of life of Europe’s inhabitants.