Korea Inc scores big with $1.1bn Polish polypropylene plant

A body set up to help South Korean construction companies win work overseas has recorded its first success with a $1.1bn petrochemical plant in Poland.

The plant, which will be one of the largest in the region, will be built by Hyundai Engineering for PDH Polska, a special purpose vehicle formed by state-owned chemical company Azoty.

Hyundai was assisted by Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corporation (KIND), which is only a year old.

Hyundai will build the Polimery Police plant as a turnkey project, and will also take an equity stake in the completed asset. The terms for this deal have yet to be negotiated. A contract will be signed after the final investment review and approval by the two companies.

When complete in 2022, the plant will produce 437,000 tonnes of polypropylene a year.

Wojciech Wardacki, president of Azoty, commented: "The Polymer Police project will mean a significant, strategic diversification of our business with a perspective and strongly developing market for plastics, especially polypropylene."

He added: "I am glad that we were able to acquire Hyundai, a reliable partner, a leader in the construction industry, a company with huge experience in implementing projects on such a large scale as a general contractor."

KIND was founded in June last year to get South Korea’s construction industry more work around the world. The country’s large builders have been a major source of export earnings for South Korea: between 2007 and 2016, they netted $538bn, more than semiconductors or shipbuilding. But overseas sales have fallen 20% between 2016 and 2018.

The new body helped to secure the deal by providing investment support after receiving a request from Hyundai Engineering.

Image: Kim Hyun-mee, Korea’s infrastructure minister, speaking at KIND’s founding ceremony, held in Seoul on 27 June 2018 (KIND)

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