15 February 2013 10:46 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Oltchim stopped operations at its 120,300 dmt (dry metric tonne)/year liquid caustic soda unit this month, a company source at the Romanian petrochemical and plastics manufacturer said late on Thursday.
The source would not disclose if Oltchim had plans to restart the caustic soda unit. 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.
Caustic soda supply in eastern Europe will tighten as a result of the Romanian plant closure as its customers seek alternative sources elsewhere, according to caustic soda market players in Europe.
Chimcomplex SA Borzesti, aother Romanian caustic soda producer, has been supplying Oltchim’s domestic customers, trading sources in the region said.
Chimcomplex said it is offering liquid caustic soda at $480/dmt (€360/tonne) FOB Constantza, a company source said. The Romanian producer exports material to Ukraine and Bulgaria, the source said.
Chimcomplex’s caustic soda plan has a nameplate capacity of 100,000 dmt/year, according to the company source.
Hundreds of Oltchim’s workers staged a protest earlier this month at the producer’s site in Ramnicu Valcea, southern Romania, demonstrating against unpaid salaries.
($1 = €0.75)
By Renee Lawrence
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