Romania: SOCAR Azerbaijan evaluates the purchase of Oltchim petrochemical plant

3. July 2014. / SEE Energy News

Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR is interested in taking over the petrochemical plant Oltchim and analyzes this opportunity, stated Hamza Karimov, GM of SOCAR Romania. Socar already is in the process of analysing this business opportunity and the decision will be made in mother company in Azerbaijan. Oltchim is the one of the largest companies in Romania but its being insolvent since 1Q/2013.

“We look forward towards Oltchim, which is an important project for the Romanian state. SOCAR is still considering this opportunity, but there is not a concrete decision in that direction,” said Karimov, quoted by Agerpres.

According to him, the Romanian counterpart and Romanian branch of Socar have already sent all the technical data on Oltchim to the Azeri parent company, which will have to ponder it and take a final decision.

“We have another petrochemical plant in Turkey, Petchim, and planned investment of 6-7 billion USD in a refinery in Turkey, also in the petrochemical industry. Oltchim’s advantage is that it can produce cheaper,” said Karimov.

The deadline for submission of bids by investors interested in buying Oltchim was June 6, 2014, but no investor interested entered the race, in which case, according to the minister of economy, Constantin Niță, Oltchim will firstly be restructured and then put up for privatization again.

“In this case, we defer privatization for a longer period to do some restructuring. We will seek funding to start up a new production line or two, allowing the plant to stop losses,” added Niță.

He said there are investors who have expressed their intent to buy Oltchim bundled with Arpechim. Owned by Petrom, Arpechim refinery was closed in 2009, but it was the main supplier of raw materials toOltchim. Oltchim is the largest company in Vâlcea county, and is insolvent since January 2013. The viable assets of the plant were valued at 305 million euro.

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