Oltchim needs a new business model against the world petrochemical market’s current backdrop, and in order to survive it needs to be privatized as soon as possible, Wojciech Zaremba, the representative of PCC SE, Oltchim plant’s significant minority shareholder, stated for ‘Bursa’ daily. He said that the authorities have postponed until winter the selection of a private investor and until spring the actual privatization, against the backdrop in which a quick sale was expected this autumn. “The petrochemical market is now going through the ethane revolution, which is a product obtained from shale gas and much cheaper than naphtha. Ethane costs USD 30 per barrel, while naphtha costs around USD 100 per barrel. The European petrochemical industry faces strong competition from the US, which benefits from shale gas, China and the Middle East, which have cheap products and competitive technologies. Many European industry producers are adapting their technologies in order to be able to process ethane instead of naphtha,” Zaremba explained. Oltchim has to survive on this market and, in order to do that, it has to have a different business model and to benefit from new investments. “And these decisions have to be taken by a private investor as soon as possible,” he opined.
Asked for how long he will maintain an interest in Oltchim, Wojciech Zaremba stated that “time is money and PCC lost a lot of time in Romania.” The representative of PCC SE pointed out that while last year Oltchim was a strategic goal for PCC, now the plant represents only “a target among many others.” “We are interested in Oltchim, but increasingly less,” the PCC representative added. Wojciech Zaremba claims that the Romanian authorities engaged in intense advertisement in order to privatise Oltchim this year and it is time for them to verify which the companies really interested in Oltchim are.
According to the Economy Ministry, Oltchim has also sparked the interest of companies such as Oil Gas Trade (OGT) Russia and Chimcomplex, which wants to form a consortium with the SIFs.