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March 8, 2021

Arpechim acquisition and high wages led Oltchim to insolvency

The judicial administrators of the chemical plant claim that the final report on the causes of the insolvency shows that there are people which culpably led the company to bankruptcy.

The acquisition of Arpechim by Oltchim is one of the main reasons for the insolvency of the chemical plant of Ramnicu Valcea, the minister of Economy, Varujan Vosganian said yesterday during talks about the preliminary report on the reasons that led the plant to insolvency, which was presented in a press conference.“The incomes of Oltchim and Arpechim amounted to RON 1.6 bln in 2011. In fact, the incomes dropped to half while personnel expenses increased by 6 pc. At Arpechim, we speak about expenses of RON 106 M and, in compensation, the company produced nothing. As a matter of fact, RON 292 M was spent on retechnologisation, at a moment when total losses were of 47 pc. The acquisition of Arpechim is one of the main reasons why Oltchim reached this situation,” Vosganian said. According to data presented by Vosganian this Tuesday, during 2009-2012 the total number of employees of the plant diminished by 12 per cent, while the money allotted to salaries increased by 40 per cent. “During 2009-2012, wages in Oltchim increased by over 50 per cent. It is interesting that the TESA personnel lost only 5 per cent, while the number of workers involved in production by 15 pc. If in 2009 the total incomes of Oltchim amounted to RON 1.1 bln, in 2012 this total was RON 800 M, meaning a 33 pc decline. Meanwhile, expenses with the personnel, including meal tickets, went up 40 pc, from RON 111 M to RON 154 M. Arpechim was taken over by Oltchim in 2010. In 2010, the average net salary at Oltchim was RON 1,900, while at Arpechim it exceeded RON 3,000. Because of a social tension there was adopted a completely interesting, yet illegal formula that took the average net salary per employee at RON 2,500. Instead of achieving a proportional average, they calculated the arithmetic average and in 2012 personnel expenses rose from RON 123 M to RON 148 M, against 2010, without any economic justification,” the minister of Economy explained.In his turn, Gheorghe Piperea, one of the judicial administrators of SC Oltchim SA, said that the next report will reveal that “there are persons which culpably caused the insolvency of Oltchim.” The judicial administrators of Oltchim will present, on March 12, an in-depth report (300 pages) about the situation of Oltchim and the causes that led the company to insolvency, the Economy minister announced. Niculae Balan, another judicial administrator of SC Oltchim SA, added that talks are being conducted with trade unions and with banks that might secure a reasonable financing for the company. The State Asset Resolution Company (AAAS) Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) and Electrica accepted to be members in the Assembly of Creditors of Oltchim, which will hold its first meeting on April 15.Petrom will continue the activity of preserving the Arpechim refinery until a demolition license will be issued, as nobody is interested to buy it, the CEO of Petrom, Mariana Gheorghe announced. The Supervisory Board of Petrom decided in March 2011 to permanent shut down the Arpechim refinery.

Roibu: OPSPI is responsible for the situation of Oltchim

Oltchim stopped operating last summer, following a decision made by the Office for State Ownership and Industrial Privatization (OPSPI) and it was not allowed to operate by Remus Vulpescu, when he was the chief of this institution, the former manager of Oltchim, Constantin Roibu said on a local TV channel, quoted by jurnalul.ro. “The plant was not allowed to operate, so it was closed on August 22. I presented on August 4 an operational plan through the cession towards the electricity provider. It was ignored. Have you heard of Mr. Vulpescu? Where are those 13 firms which purchased the task book, as Ponta said in September? They told the prime minister ordinary lies. The truth is different; at the beginning of April, 10 companies were interested by Oltchim, when there were non-committing offers, but they withdrew meanwhile, especially the moment when they changed the task book. They sent the new task book to the 10 companies and then misinformed the premier that things are completely opposite,” Roibu mentioned.

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