Rompetrol Petrochemicals completes major project to integrate polymer operations

Rompetrol Petrochemicals, a subsidiary of the Romanian oil producer Rompetrol Group, has completed a major project to integrate its polymer operations into an automated command and control centre. The new centre integrates the firm’s three polymer production plants making polypropylene, low density and high density polyethylene, as well as those related to pyrolysis – the steam boilers and the propane-propylene separation station. An investment of US$0.5 mln went into the project which follows other major spending by Rompetrol totalling US$44.5 mln in 2006–2007 involving restarting and modernising the firm’s LDPE and HDPE units. “The new centre allows full tracking of operations – the control and protection of technological flows, the collection and online transmission of process data and, implicitly, the reduction of production costs, which is a first for Romania as well as for South-Eastern Europe,” explained Rompetrol Petrochemicals general manager Niculi Dumitru. Rompetrol’s oil refining operations were already integrated by central control through a US$33 mln investment scheme completed in 2004. He added that the integration process for petrochemicals supports group strategy to become one of the region’s main polymer producers and suppliers, and a natural progression after Rompetrol capacity and expansion investments of US$107 mln since 2002. In the first nine months of 2010, the company recorded a turnover of more than US$214 mln and an operating income of US$11.5 mln, above the indicators obtained during the same period of 2009 for a US$181 mln turnover and a negative operating result of US$12.5 mln. Rompetrol Petrochemicals is in the process of expanding the capacity of its Constanta HDPE plant by more than 70% to 100,000 tpa. This was expected to be completed by March 2011 but will now be delayed until the end of next year.
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