Reeling under the impact of the global economic crisis that has shrunk polymer demand, Rompetrol Petrochemicals plans to reduce polymer production for the next two months and temporarily lay off 130 employees from production and maintenance division, about 24% of its employees. This temporary step will also prevent polymer inventory build up. LDPE (low density polyethylene) plants are planned to be shut from December 10, 2008 to January 31, 2009, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plants for a week longer, from December 1, 2008 to January 31 2009.
In the period of January-September 2008, polymer sales increased by 40% (182,000 tons), but operating profit has taken a direct hit due to stringent market conditions and rising feedstock propylene and ethylene costs. The period of September to November 2008 saw a quantum decline in polymer demand and prices. However, Rompetrol Petrochemicals will continue with its investment plans for 2008 estimated at US$9.5 mln.