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Romanian petrochemicals

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

It has been reported that there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Romanian petrochemicals producer Oltchim, which is set for another privatisation attempt after the first one failed. However, the relatively strong domestic market is registering consumption growth in petrochemicals and with domestic production levels low, Romania appears to be one of the few European markets with the potential for import growth.

Oltchim’s problems

Operations within Oltchim are continuously interrupted by the company’s financial problems. At the end of last year Oltchim, the country’s largest polymers producer, was operating at 24% of its capacity, a situation that was undermining its profitability at a time when the government was planning to privatise the company.

The Romanian government is currently looking to boost the company’s capacity utilisation to 50%, which would apparently mean the plant would break even. BMI believe that this low is unlikely to go further and the company should sustain growth this year.

Petrochemical production

Until Oltchim’s situation is resolved it is expected that the Romanian petrochemical industry will operate below its full potential. However, this will be partly outweighed by growth in production at Rompetrol’s high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in Navodari. In the current climate, BMI believes that Romania is highly unlikely to experience growth in olefins and polymers capacities. 

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd

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