Rompetrol Petrochemicals restarts the LDPE plant

As of this Monday, Rompetrol Petrochemicals, the petrochemical division of the Rompetrol Group, will restart monday the low density polyethylene plant (LDPE), closed in December and will call back approx. 40% of the personnel laid off under technical unemployment conditions.

“Considering the constraints on the specific markets, restarting the plant was possible due to the solidarity of the Rompetrol employees during this period, but also due to the management decisions of the Rompetrol Group in view of identifying news distribution paths and avoiding the accumulation of stocks. The company will continue all the procedures regarding the restarting of the high density polyethylene plant (HDPE), subject to maintenance in 1996 and restarted in 2007 pursuant to some investments of over USD 14.5 million” stated Dumitru Niculi, the general manager of Rompetrol Petrochemicals.

As for the following period, the Rompetrol Group will revaluate, considering the evolution of the specific markets, the economic and financial condition of Rompetrol Petrochemicals and will support the adoption of some measures such as rebalancing the production in compliance with the decrease of the demand for polymers, the development of new distribution paths, the reinforcement of the relations with traditional partners, the implementation of the cost monitoring/reduction program.

In view of restarting the operation of the LDPE, the employees will be called back to work this week. During December and January, they were granted compensations equal to 85% of their basic salary.

Between January and September 2008, the company recorded a growth by approximately 40% of the sales of finite products (182,000 tons) and by 61% of the turnover (over USD 300 million), however the operating profit (EBITDA) was under direct influence of the unfavorable market conditions and the high prices of raw matter (propylene, ethylene).

The low and high density polyethylene plants feature a rated capacity of 60,000 tons and were subject to maintenance in 1996 pursuant to the lack of raw matter – ethylene. In view of upgrading and restarting them, but also in view of building a new liquefied gas offshore terminal, the company invested over USD 30 million in 2006 (LDPE) and over USD 14.5 million in 2007 (HDPE).

At the present, the company has 531 employees.