Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

AGROPOLYCHIM WITHDRAWS FROM ROMANIA

On February 17 the Devnya-based fertilizer manufacturer Agropolychim AD will choose three of the seven companies which have sent documents for participation in the construction of a waste waters treatment station in the enterprise. Among them are: the French Vivendi, the Frankfurt-based branch of General Electric Bets de Bore, and the German concern Nalko. Within a few weeks the chief contractor is to be chosen. The construction of the new facility will cost about EUR5.5MN. It should be commissioned by the beginning of 2006 at the latest. Currently, Agropolychim's waste waters go to Padina waste dump, owned by Solvay Sodi and the fertilizer producer pays a fee for using the facility. According to Agropolychim's privatisation contract, it should give up the services of Padina in the end of 2005 and the same should be done by its owner Solvay Sodi in 2014. The company should provide information about the treatment station in the application for the complex permission is should file. In fact it should contain data about all existing capacities of the enterprise and for those to be restructured. The complex permission is a document, certifying that the installations of an enterprise throw out in environment polluting substances within admissible limits. About 250 Bulgarian enterprise should get such permits in order to continue their operation after the year 2007. These companies are in the sphere of energy, chemical industry, metallurgy, etc. They have been divided into groups, which should apply for a permission within set terms. For Polychim that term elapsed on September 30, 2003. Therefore, the Executive Director of Solvay Sodi Philippe Rombaut and representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Waters had to meet after the statement of Teodora Karaivanova, Director of the Regional Inspectorate of the Envrionment and Waters in Varna , that Agropolychim could be forced to stop operation. The representatives of the fertilizer manufacturer and the state institution met on February 11 and ultimately decided that Agropolychim should immediately file an application for a complex permission. Both sides are unanimous that the elimination of former ecology damages caused by the enterprise has been considerably delayed. In 2004, the company is planning to invest BGN7MN in repairs, BGN1.5MN in new equipment of existing technological lines, and BGN5MN in new production of diammonium and monoammonium phosphate and NPK (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium).Currently, the Devnya-based fertilizer plant operates at full capacity. Next week, the company is going to initiate an industrial experiment for new technological production together with Dekafos company. The plant controls 50% of its capital, and Asset Fertilizers holds the rest.Agropolychim made an attempt to complete the production cycle by taking part in the privatisation of the fertilizer manufacturer in the Romanian town of Turnu Magurele, SC Turnu S.A. The Romanian plant produces carbamide which is the main input for the production of ammonium nitrate. However, the sale procedure is now frozen by the Romanian privatisation agency. We intend to withdraw our documents from the competition, Hristo Petrov, Executive Director of the Devnya-based company, told the BANKER weekly. The equipment is in a very poor condition there, he added. The Bulgarian company competed with a consortium of the Serbian Universal Holding and a Romanian commercial company.Agropolychim AD was privatised on October 6, 1999 by the US Asset Fertilizers company which currently holds 97.41% of its capital. The rest of the shares are distributed among Elana Finance (1.28%), the Ministry of Economy (0.42%), Sveta Sofia Holding (0.15%), EUROBANK (0.09%), the Central Cooperative Bank (0.09%), and First Investment Bank (0.01%).

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