Serbia’s NIS opts against taking control of HIP Petrohemija: ministry

18 September 2013 17:31  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Serbian refiner NIS, owned by Russia’s Gazprom Neft, has opted not to become the majority shareholder in HIP Petrohemija, the petrochemical producer located adjacent to its refinery, Serbia’s ministry of economy and regional development said on Wednesday.

The ministry and NIS had agreed that the best option for continuing with the restructuring and modernisation of HIP Petrohemija, located in Pancevo, northeast of Belgrade, would be to attract an alternative strategic investor for the company during 2014, it added.

HIP Petrohemija, which says it is the largest manufacturer of petrochemicals in southeastern Europe, is 12.72% owned by NIS and 54.89% owned by the Serbian state. The Fund for the Development of the Republic of Serbia owns 13.63% of the company while Serbiagaz holds 13.38%.

Financial difficulties and an inability to pay for naphtha feedstock deliveries from NIS forced HIP Petrohemija into a three-month closure in mid-2009.

The company was able to restart production after agreeing a debt-to-equity swap deal with NIS.

Having completed the first phase of a restructuring programme at the end of last year – the phase saw the launch of the company's reconstructed and expanded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant, the capacity of which was increased 30% to slightly more than 90,000 tonnes/year, and the relaunch of its 200,000 tonne/year ethylene plant – HIP Petrohemija is embarking on a second phase.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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