17 February 2010 11:06 [Source: ICIS news]
BUCHAREST (ICIS news)--Oltchim is to temporarily lay off 1,140 workers at its site at Ramnicu Valcea, Romania, starting this week due to difficulties in acquiring feedstocks, the Romanian chemical company said on Wednesday.
“The lay-offs are made for two weeks and the workers affected are from the units which are stopped or not functioning at full pace. Oltchim is facing major difficulties in acquiring basic feedstocks such as ethylene and propylene,” said a company statement.
Oltchim, which employs around 3,500 people, has been operating at reduced capacity in recent months because of feedstock supply problems.
The debt-ridden company has been hoping that its feedstock problems would be alleviated after it completed last month the acquisition of the petrochemical unit belonging to refiner Arpechim.
Petrom, the former owner of Arpechim, mothballed the unit – which served as Oltchim’s key feedstock supplier – in late 2008.
Work on revamping and restarting the facility, which includes a 200,000 tonne/year ethylene plant, would begin immediately, Oltchim said following the acquisition.
The Arpechim unit also includes an 80,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) production line.
In December 2009, Oltchim said it would cut 400 jobs in the first half of this year, including 200 in the first quarter, by contracting out some of its non-core activities.
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