What can a stock investor learn at the Sejm? The subject of his interest may be, for example, legislative ideas of MPs affecting business. However, it turns out that you can also hear important news about listed companies there. Luciusz Nadbereżny, president of Stalowa Wola, revealed Cognor’s investment plans during a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Committee for Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry.
Vision and will to invest…
“The Wizja i Wola company, operating in the Cognor group, will be implementing a very important investment not only locally, but also nationwide, because in Stalowa Wola, as part of this investment project, the most modern electrosteel plant producing sheet metal in Europe will be built” – this is the statement of the mayor Stalowa Wola was quoted in the transcript of the committee meeting.
In his opinion, these products will fill the gap in the availability of this type of steel on the Polish market.
– I can confirm that a few weeks ago Cognor established a special purpose vehicle, Wizja i Wola, which is to purchase land for a large investment in the steel industry – says Przemysław Sztuczkowski, president of Cognor.
The National Court Register shows that the Wizja i Wola company was registered in Poraj in the Silesian Voivodeship (Cognor is also based there) on October 4. Its core business is the production of pig iron, ferroalloys, cast iron and steel, and metallurgical products.
– Due to the regulations applicable to me, I cannot say anything about this investment, its size, completion dates or the nature of production – emphasizes Przemysław Sztuczkowski.
This concerns the information obligations imposed on Cognora as a listed company. No report on this matter has been published so far. However, this did not limit Lucius Nadbereżny.
“This is an investment worth nearly PLN 3 billion, implementing a very ambitious process of changing the Polish steel industry that fulfills the idea of green steel, and therefore fits perfectly into the intentions of the act, but also into the goals that Poland should set for itself in terms of economic and environmental goals,” he said. president of Stalowa Wola.
He clarified that it is to be an electrosteel plant using the latest energy and water saving technologies, as well as renewable sources. The investment is to occupy 117 ha.
“This is a production dedicated to the automotive industry as well as electromobility industries. What is important for Stalowa Wola, but also for the time we are in, is also the arms production dedicated to the defense industry located nearby. Huta Stalowa Wola will undoubtedly be able to strengthen its cooperation thanks to the existence of such a modern electrosteel plant. It is also an important tax element in the local dimension, and the target employment amounts to over a thousand employees,” Lucjusz Nadbereżny informed the parliamentarians.
…the only thing missing is the funds
The basic question regarding a potential investment is where Cognor will get the funds for it. Its net debt has recently increased significantly because the group is already making investments. Net debt at the end of the last quarter amounted to PLN 406.7 million, while a year earlier it was almost PLN 113.2 million. He finished, among others: construction of a steel plant in Gliwice, the cost of which reached PLN 80 million. The investment allowed to increase production capacity by 155,000. tone. Next month, the construction rod rolling mill in Kraków, modernized at a cost of PLN 200 million, is to be launched. The investment will increase capacity by 160,000. tone. At the end of next year, a bar rolling mill for various industries, built in Siemianowice Śląskie, is to be launched. The cost of this investment is as much as PLN 800 million, and the increase in power will reach PLN 450,000. tone.
The steelworks in Stalowa Wola has also already made investments. It has developed the potential to strengthen its position in the arms industry and diversify its activities to meet the needs of the automotive market. This segment was recently the locomotive driving Cognor’s results, but after the outbreak of the war, the group is counting on defense orders.-
– We are conducting advanced talks regarding the supply of steel products for the needs of the domestic defense sector. We hope that we will be able to conclude contracts for next year, declared Przemysław Sztuczkowski in a July conversation with PB.
For now, however, there are few of them. As Krzysztof Zoła, member of the management board, said during a recent press conference, the company received orders from Poland only for sheets of up to 25 wolverines, which is much less than expected.
Other investments in Stalowa Wola
Two projects are already under construction in the areas prepared by the city for the investment. President Lucjusz Nadbereżny mentioned the investment of the Korean company SK Nexilis, which has already invested over PLN 2 billion. The plant, which will operate in the electromobility industry, is being built on a plot of 56 ha and is to be launched in mid-2024. And Huta Stalowa Wola is developing its strategic activities in the defense industry on an area of over 40 ha.
In addition to the Cognor group, Thoni Alutec, a manufacturer of aluminum non-ferrous elements, is also applying for the opportunity to build the plant (it has already been present in the city for 25 years). Now it is planning another plant that will expand its production potential, and will be built on a plot of 23 ha. PGE Dystrybucja and the joint venture of the city of Stalowa Wola and the Industrial Development Agency also have investment plans in this area (over an area of over 57 ha).
Where is it better to build a steelworks?
There has been a discussion in Poland for several years about the need to expand the steel production potential in electric furnaces powered by scrap. They are to use electricity from renewable sources, which will make them less emissive than installations using iron ore and coke in the steel smelting process. Węglokoks intends to build such a steel plant in Ruda Śląska at a cost of at least PLN 5 billion. Will the Cognor plant be competition for it?
– The steel plant in Stalowa Wola may be an alternative to the plant planned to be built by Węglokoks. Stalowa Wola has many areas where a steelworks could be built. This is a much better location than in Ruda Śląska – says Henryk Orczykowski, president of Stalprofil.
In his opinion, new steel production plants should be built near existing steelworks with human resources. Węglokoks companies do not produce steel, they engage in processing activities, and Cognor has its own steel plant in Stalowa Wola.
Henryk Orczykowski also believes that the construction of a steelworks from which the steel will be intended for the production of steel products for the automotive and defense industry will allow distributors to diversify their activities, they will have a wider range of products in warehouses.