Rompetrol Petrochemicals restarts HDPE installation

Rompetrol Petrochemicals, the petrochemical division of The Rompetrol Group, will restart on Friday, February 20, the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) installation, after resuming on February 1 the Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) production.

“With the support of The Rompetrol Group and its shareholders, Rompetrol Petrochemicals managed to restart the two installations, LDPE and HDPE, temporarily closed down in December following the constraints of the specialized markets. The production of polymers of the company will get back to normal as of Friday, and the remaining personnel who were temporarily laid off will be recalled to resume their activities” declared Dumitru Niculi, CEO of Rompetrol Petrochemicals.

The Rompetrol Group will reevaluate in the following period the economic and financial situation of Rompetrol Petrochemicals according to the evolution of specialized markets and will support measures such as development of new distribution routes, consolidation of relations with traditional partners, as well as continuation of the cost monitoring/reduction program.

At the end of November, on the background of the influences of the national and international economic crisis, Rompetrol Petrochemicals decided to temporarily shut down the LDPE and HDPE installations, this measure being necessary for rebalancing production in accordance with the low demand of polymers, as well as for avoiding stock accumulation. The personnel of the two installations, approximately 24% of the total number of company employees, were temporarily laid off, in virtue of the Collective Employment Contract.

The low density and high density polyethylene installations have a rating of 60,000 tons/year and began conservation in 1996 following the lack of raw materials – ethylene. In order to modernize and restart them and to build a liquefied gas sea terminal, Rompetrol Petrochemicals allocated over 30 million USD in 2006 (LDPE) and over 14.5 million USD in 2007 (HDPE).

Currently, the company has 531 employees and is the only internal manufacturer of polypropylene and polyethylene. Last year, Rompetrol Petrochemicals reported a 36% increase of its turnover (approximately 360 million USD*) and a 26% increase of the sales of petrochemical products (234,000 tons), the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) being directly influenced both by unfavorable market conditions and by high production costs.

* The shown results are preliminary and non-audited, elaborated in virtue of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).