PŻM - The nineties

The nineties

Opening of the new Polsteam head office
in "Pazim", the most modern office and hotel
complex in Szczecin

The decade started with two large investment projects, namely purchase of a series of six panamax vessels from Burmeister & Wain Shipyard, Denmark, and opening of "Pazim", an office and hotel facility. Designed by Miljenke Dumencić is the office facility of 115m is the tallest building in Szczecin and a showpiece development for the City and the company.

The beginning of the ninetieth featured two projects which had a major impact Pazim
Pazim. 1992.
on financial situation of the company in the following years. The first was a series of six panamaxes built in Burmeister and Wain Shipyard and the second was PAZIM office/hotel complex. The latter project happened to be a particularly big burden for the company. Attempts to restructure the repayment schedule were being made throughout the whole decade and only as late as in end of decade the restructuring process was finalised.

In 1992 the company decided to diversify its business by creation of several specialised affiliates acting in the frame of a holding called Polsteam Group (Grupa PŻM).

Operating divisions were transformed into managing companies such as Polsteam Oceantramp, Polsteam Shortramp and Polsteam Tankers, which were entrusted management of the company's fleet. Some other affiliates were also formed including Polsteam Supply, Polsteam Brokers and Polsteam Consulting. The holding idea happened not to be quite sensible in the existing situation and at the end of the nineties most of those affiliates were liquidated (including the managing companies whose tasks were again taken over by the Polsteam operating divisions). The Polsteam Group extended activities. Unity Line, created in 1994 to operate "Polonia", "Gryf", "Wolin" ferries, may be an example of an affiliate which proved to remain a financially sound entity.
Solidarność. 1991.
enlarge photo
vessel's details
Another Group member which is doing well is Polsteam Żegluga Szczecińska, operating two river craft: "Peene Queen" and "Odra Queen" as well as a "Ładoga" floating amusement/restaurant complex. PAZIM company, which manages an office/hotel complex, has been obtaining good financial results for the last few years.

In the 90-ties the fleet renewal program which was launched in 1996 was perhaps the biggest investment event of that decade. This program resulted in newbuildings from Szczecin Shipyard, Varna Shipyard and from Japanese Mitsui Corporation.

In 1995 Polsteam had 101 vessels of total deadweight 2.9 million, whereas at the end of the decade the company fleet comprised of 91 vessels of 2.5 million dwt.

In 1998 the Polsteam was going through a very hard period. Due to very high operating costs, excessive employment, ineffective operation of many affiliates and lack of internal reforms the enterprise was facing bankruptcy. Change of top management and introduction of a drastic repair program saved the company.