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Chinese companies voice interest in taking over Oltchim

Romania's Economy Minister Andrei Gerea on Tuesday welcomed CEO Hengchao Sun of Chinese company Baota Petrochemical Group, and CEO Changqing Xie of China's Junlun Petroleum Co. Ltd as well as specialists from the two companies in continuation of demarches to draw in investment for the troubled Romanian Oltchim chemicals works.

The Economy Ministry reports that Gerea appreciated the Chinese investors for their voiced interest, saying that he is convinced the traditional ties between the two countries can offer a solid base for future cooperation.

'For Oltchim we are seeking serious partners able to manage this industrial giant that can generate a business turnover in excess of one billion euros a year. That is why meetings and conversations with strong investors in this field are very important,' said Gerea.

In their turn, the Chinese officials appreciated Romani's tradition in oil and petrochemicals industries, saying the visiting delegations include highly experienced specialists in this field, as China is attaching importance to such investments and intends to develop oil projects in Romania.

Also attending the meeting were the judiciary administrator and the receiver of the insolvent works, the Oltchim management, officials of the Romanian Office for State's Industrial Shareholdings and Privatisations and of the Economy Ministry.


Previously, the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Bucharest Huo Yuzhen on Monday asked the mayor of Ramnicu Valcea (northwest of Bucharest) Emilian Francu to provide her with a data file about chemical plant Oltchim to present further to Chinese potential investors.

'For an economic cooperation between the two states and particularly with Ramnicu Valcea, I'll ask Mr. mayor to send to the Embassy a file with all the data regarding Oltchim's situation. As far as I understand from the counselors, this is a company that has been under reorganization for almost a year now and is seeking investors to help its recovery. But it's not just for Oltchim that we could find business opportunities, we could also explore the wood and glass industry, or green energy. And last, but not least, there is tourism. Valcea County thermal waters are well known to our Embassy,' said the Ambassador of the Republic of China.

Ramnicu Valcea mayor Emilian Francu presented the Chinese Ambassador other infrastructure projects that 'might prove attractive to Chinese investors' such as the Ramnicu Valcea - Valcele railway or the motorway corridor IV.


Oltchim privatisation to be completed in February or June 2014


The privatisation of the Oltchim chemicals works will be completed in June 2014 if working capital can be raised or else the deadline will be February 2014, Economy Minister Andrei Gerea said Sunday.

'If we manage to raise 15 million euros, the equivalent of the working capital, we can extend through June. If we fail, the next February we will shake hands with investors,' said Gerea.

He mentioned he would like the former, because finding serious investors takes time and for the time being there are some problems with securing the working capital.

'The most pressing factor is the working capital, which is absolutely necessary for the conduct of business and also to win time, because an action such as the one started by us to find an investor takes time. We need this money, which we are trying to raise from banks. Yet, unfortunately banks are not much eager to fund, which is a problem nationwide not just in the Oltchim's case,' said Gerea.

He added that there are three international consortiums having voiced interest in taking over Oltchim, but the campaign to win investors for the privatisation of Oltchim continues. On the other hand, talks will resume with representatives of OMV Petrom for the sale of the Petromedia refinery currently under conservatorship.

'We have a meeting this week with OMV because six months ago they voiced intention to sell the refinery. This would certainly be a plus for Oltchim, but it is not as essential to it as the Bradu Petrochemicals Division is. The absence of the refinery could be offset, but to Oltchim as it is today there is no future without what goes on in Pitesti. Things are clear to everybody that privatisation will be performed integrated,' said Gerea.