Romania’s Oltchim halts PO, polyols production on feedstock issues

04 February 2013 11:41  [Source: ICIS news]

BUCHAREST (ICIS)--Petrochemical and plastics manufacturer Oltchim on Monday stopped production at its propylene oxide (PO) and polyether polyols units following a shortage of feedstock, the company said.

“Some deliveries of polypropylene were stopped by the Romanian railway company, CFR, as Oltchim has huge debts to it. But we hope the stoppage to be temporarily, as Oltchim management is currently negotiating with CFR to find a solution”, said Remus Vulpescu, from the economy ministry.

The units, which each of them has a capacity of around 120,000 tonnes/year, were restarted in November.

Production at Oltchim has been severely restricted for more than a year as a result of a lack of working capital to secure feedstock supplies.

A government decision for Oltchim to enter insolvency was approved on 30 January by a court in Ramnicu Valcea, southern Romania.

The Romanian government decided on January 23 to start insolvency procedures in a move intended to pave the way for the company’s future privatisation, due to the group’s current economic problems.

The Romanian state holds a 54.8% stake in Oltchim, with Germany-based chemical producer PCC holding 18.3% and Cyprus-based Nachbar Services holding an additional 14.3%. Smaller shareholders hold the balance.

The government cancelled the privatisation of Oltchim on 1 October 2012, saying that the winning bidder – Romanian television station owner Dan Diaconescu - had not provided documents to prove he had the money to purchase the majority stake.

The government has been pushing forward with a new privatisation timetable for the disposal of its majority stake in Oltchim, as part of a commitment to economic restructuring being carried out in consultation with the IMF.

Based at Ramnicu Valcea in southern Romania, Oltchim produces caustic soda, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, inorganic products and building materials, including insulating  polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for panels, doors and window frames.

By: Marian Chiriac
+44 20 8652 3214

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