Romania’s Oltchim cuts Q1 net loss from €13m to €640,000 on capacity

11 May 2011 10:07  [Source: ICIS news]

BUCHAREST (ICIS)--Romanian chemical producer Oltchim reported a net loss of New Lei 2.64m ($930,000, €650,000) for the first quarter of 2011, as it continued to operate at about 45% capacity because of lack of feedstock ethylene (C2), Constantin Roibu, Oltchim general manager, said on Wednesday.

However, the loss is an improvement compared with the same period last year, when pesticides and plastics manufacturer Oltchim reported a loss of New Lei 52.8m.

“Our losses decreased mainly due to the fact that we raised our working capacity from around 30% last year to around 45% in the first three months of the year,” Roibu said. He added that turnover almost doubled year on year to New Lei 464.6m.

Oltchim has operated at about half capacity this year after losing much of its feedstock supply following the mothballing of the Arpechim petrochemical unit, which it has since acquired from Romania’s Petrom.

Oltchim is pushing ahead with its plan to revamp and restart the Arpechim unit, despite an announcement that the envisaged naphtha feedstock supplier, the Arpechim oil refinery, is to be permanently closed.

The facility, in Pitesti, southern Romania, includes a 200,000 tonne/year ethylene cracker, linked to Oltchim by a pipeline.

The Arpechim unit also includes an 80,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) production line.

Furthermore, the Romanian government has set a privatisation timetable for the disposal of its 54.79% stake in Oltchim. An internationally recognised privatisation consultant will be selected by August this year, while an invitation for bids in the Oltchim sell-off will be issued in the first half of 2012.

Oltchim produces caustic soda, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, inorganic products and building materials, including insulating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for panels, doors and window frames.

($1 = New Lei 2.84)
(€1 = New Lei 4.09)

By: Marian Chiriac
+44 20 8652 3214

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