Petrom imposed the ministry a single condition in handing over Petrochemicals – to pay the debts of 150 million euros Arpechim had to give to state-run chemical producer Oltchim.

Petrom set up in June 2007 the division Petrochemicals Arges to take over the activity of refinery Arpechim. A German minority shareholder at Oltchim also showed interest in the branch. The ministry’s plan is to take over the petrochemical unit for Oltchim.

Petrom is 51.01 percent controlled by the Austrian group OMV. Romania’s Economy Ministry holds a 20.64 percent stake and the Fondu Proprietatea set up to compensate people who lost properties to the communist regime controls 20.11 percent.

Petrom forecasts a net profit of 1.11 billion lei this year, an 8.6 percent advance over the previous one and estimates turnover will drop by a third, according to this year’s budget approved by shareholders at the end of April.