“As we announced earlier, we will exit chemicals and petrochemicals segments by the end of next year. Our half-year long negotiations with potential buyers have failed, and eventually we decided to permanently shut down the facility. Fertilizer production will go offline for the remainder of the year, while Doljchim plant will come into operations when needed”, chief executive of Petrom, Mariana Gheorghe (photo) said.

Doljchim Chemical Works has around 1,000 employees, who currently work at the plant will lose their jobs in the coming period. “Around 200 workers will remain on the platform, for the follow-up works, such as demolition, cleaning and decontamination”, the CEO of Petrom added.

Mariana Gheorghe stressed that talks with Oltchim would continue, in an effort to find feasible offers for the petrochemicals operations at Arpechim from the state-owned company.

“Around 400 workers at Arpechim plant will be transferred to Oltchim after the sale of Petrochemicals Arges completes”, said Mariana Gheorghe.

The oil company said recently it had revised its development options and investment plans in line with current market conditions and based on the long-term negative outlook on the refining activity. In the Tuesday’s board meeting, the company has made several decisions so as to adjust its value chain to the current environment and to the radical change in demand/supply ratio.

The board has thus agreed on the framework of its refining business strategy and to divest chemicals.

Petrom acquired Doljchim Chemical Works Craiova in 1999, which became a Petrom branch afterwards.

Petrom is the largest Romanian oil and gas company with activities in the business segments of Exploration and Production, Refining, Marketing as well as Gas, Petrom has proved oil and gas reserves of 940 mn boe, a maximum refining capacity of 8 million metric tons per year, approximately 550 filling stations in Romania and 269 filling stations in Moldova, Bulgaria and Serbia.

In 2008, the turnover of the company was €4,552 mn and EBITDA was €969 million.

OMV holds 51.01% stake in Petrom. OMV runs operations in 13 Central European countries in Refining and Marketing and in 17 countries in Exploration and Production. The Ministry of Economy holds 20.64% of Petrom, Fondul Proprietatea – 20.11%, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – 2.03% and minority shareholders – 6.21%.