Poland’s largest chemical company has decided to temporarily shut down its nitrogen (N) fertiliser production units due to record natural gas prices.

Grupa Azoty SA said that the current situation in the gas market, which determines profitability of its production activities, is “extraordinary and completely beyond the company’s control, and could not have been predicted”.

However, it noted that there are no problems with the availability of gas.

“As a consequence of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, since February 24, 2022, natural gas prices on the European exchanges have been soaring to extraordinary, historically high levels.

“Over the past six months, gas prices surged from €72/megawatt hour (MWh) on February 22, 2022 to €276/MWh on August 22, 2022,” a statement from the company outlined.

Gas Networks Ireland gas BASF EU Commission task forces gas demand

As a result, the company decided to temporarily shut down its nitrogen fertiliser, caprolactam and polyamide 6 production units yesterday (Tuesday, August 23).

Grupa Azoty SA said that it will use the temporary shutdown to carry out repair work and investment in its production facilities.

The company noted that it will continue to produce catalysts, polyamide casings, humic acids, thermoplastic starch and concentrated nitric acid.

“It should be emphasised that to date, Grupa Azoty SA has maintained production at maximum capacity while major European manufacturers significantly curtailed or completely stopped their production activities,” the company statement added.

Grupa Azoty SA said that it is constantly monitoring the price level of all raw materials and commodities as well as the profitability of production processes.