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Another investment by CIECH – increased production capacity and specialised dialysis soda in the portfolio

Work is now underway in Germany on one of CIECH Group's key investments. Modernisation and expansion of the sodium bicarbonate production lines will make it possible to expand the Group's portfolio with products like dialysis soda – the most specialised variety of soda, used in the treatment of kidney diseases. After modernisation of the plants, with the planned completion in 2019, CIECH Soda Deutschland (“CSD”) will be manufacturing several tens of thousands of tonnes of pharmaceutical-grade sodium bicarbonate annually. The total value of the investment is over PLN 100 mln.

The investment includes, among other things, the expansion of the soda centrifugation, drying, sifting and decarbonisation nodes as well as increasing the warehouse space. Thanks to this, CIECH can introduce sodium bicarbonate for dialysis into its product range, and sell greater quantities of pharmaceutical-grade soda.

"According to our strategy, we are focusing on the dynamic development of specialised products, including sodium bicarbonate of pharmaceutical quality. Over the past few years, we have obtained GMP certificates and so forth for our production plants in Poland and Germany, as required for the manufacture and sale of this product. We have also confirmed the end-user quality specifications of products. The next and natural stage of our activity in this area was the decision to modernise our plants in Stassfurt and dynamically enter the market of highest-grade soda, used in areas like pharmacy work and dialysis. The contacts we have established so far and CIECH’s excellent reputation among consumers of sodium bicarbonate in Europe will help us to expand into this market," says Artur Osuchowski, Board Member of CIECH S.A.

Work related to the first stage of the investment is already underway at CIECH Soda Deutschland, thanks to which the CIECH Group will be able to offer dialysis soda in 2018. The second stage, which has just been contracted by CIECH, will involve a total increase in sodium bicarbonate production capacity of up to 110 thousand tonnes annually at the plants in Stassfurt. This stage is planned for completion in the first half of 2019.

"Manufacturing dialysis soda and supplying the largest consumers in the European market is goal number one for CIECH plants in Germany. The investment in Stassfurt is the crowning achievement of the many years of work put in by our employees, including the R&D team, and our good working relationships with customers on the pharmaceutical market. Thanks to this, we can now enter a market that is more rigorous in terms of quality requirements, but one which is also very lucrative," says Mathias Hubner, Managing Director CIECH Soda Deutschland.

Dialysis soda is characterised by the highest degree of purity and strictly defined granulation. This product's physical and chemical properties are regulated by strict quality restrictions and are verified by pharmaceutical companies during periodic audits of production plants. The manufacture of dialysis soda requires, among other things, a special GMP (“Good Manufacturing Practices”) certificate, which both the German and Polish soda plants of CIECH Group possess.

Market specialists are of the opinion that an above-average growth dynamic (5-10% on average year-to-year in the years to come) can be expected on the dialysis soda market in the coming years due to the greater accessibility of haemodialysis treatments for chronic kidney diseases, improvements in healthcare, as well as greater healthcare-related expenditures in developing countries. As data from the National Kidney Foundation show, as much as 10% of the world's population suffers from chronic kidney disease, and over 2 million people worldwide are currently treated with dialysis. According to market forecasts, this number is expected to double by 2020.

As part of the investment, production capacities of pharmaceutical-grade sodium bicarbonate will also be increased. This product has broad applications thanks to its acid-neutralising properties, ability to bind other substances and purifying qualities. It is used in areas like the manufacture of various types of effervescent tablets and as an ingredient in medications and dietary supplements. It also sees use in the production of toothpastes and as a component of certain wellness products.

Upon completion of the investment in CIECH Soda Deutschland, the Group’s portfolio of products based on sodium bicarbonate will be significantly enlarged: besides sodium bicarbonate of the highest quality for dialysis and for the pharmaceutical industry, CSD will offer larger amounts of sodium bicarbonate for the food and feed industries. The sodium bicarbonate manufactured by CIECH is also an indispensable raw material in the manufacture of detergents and other chemical products. In effect, CSD will manufacture more specialised products, which have a higher margin, while becoming less dependent on the conditions on the soda ash market at the same time.

Contact:
Mirosław Kuk, Spokesperson for CIECH Group
miroslaw.kuk@ciechgroup.com, tel. +48 723 66 86 86.

CIECH is an international, professionally managed group with Polish roots, with the grounded position of a leader in the chemical industry in Central and Eastern Europe. It manufactures products used to create the articles necessary in the daily life of people all over the world – with modern products of the highest world quality. In taking advantage of the support of a reliable strategic investor (Kulczyk Investments) it is implementing a global development strategy, extending sales in global markets. At the same time it combines a modern approach to business with the tradition of production dating back to 1882. More information available at www.ciechgroup.com.

CIECH Soda Deutschland is a German soda producer with its registered office in Stassfurt. The company manufactures heavy ash, light ash, and baking soda (including for the pharmaceutical sector) while its subsidiary generates heat energy and electrical energy. The plant uses its own limestone and brine deposits for the production of soda. CIECH Group took control of the German manufacturer in 2007, thus solidifying its position as the second largest soda manufacturer in Europe. CIECH Soda Deutschland (formerly Sodawerk Stassfurt) is one of the oldest companies in Saxony-Anhalt – its history reaches as far back as 1882.

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