Ramnicu, Romania — Sales in Oltchim’s polyol segment grew 13% in the first half of 2017 to RON 288 m ($ 75 m) compared with RON 254 m in the first six months of 2016.
The company explained this was related to the firm’s membrane electrolysis plant for chlorine production. The replacement of the last non0-membrane technology chlorine cell led to greater supplies of chlorine which Oltchim uses to make polyols.
‘As a result, sales of chlor-alkali products increased in the second quarter of 2017 compared to Q2 2016 by 4%, and sales of polyols increased by 11%,’ the company said in its half yearly report.
Oltchim encountered headwinds in the half: a 50% increase in the price of propylene, a key raw material for polyols; a 14% increase in the price of ethylene oxide; and, a 6% increase in the rise of electrical power compared to the first half of 2016.
The company said that it was working at 32% of capacity in the half, the ‘highest rate of use of production capacity since the insolvency procedure in January 2013.’
In the first half of 2017 the firm invested RON 1.3 m to replace the electrolyser and invested RON 200,000 in a loading platform for rigid triols to increase operational safety when loading road tanks of polyols.
Oltchim added that the 41.3% of Euro Urethane, a TDI joint venture with PCC SE (which also owns PCC Rokita) made a loss of RON 89,000.
Oltchim’s share ownership structure was unchanged in the quarter. PCC SE is believed to be interested in buying control of the company from the Romanian Government. Its stake remained at 32.3% of the firm, making it the second largest shareholder after the Romanian state through the Ministry of economy, which owns 55% of the firm.
Overall, Oltchim had turnover RON 480 m, up 27% compared to the first half of 2016 and made a gross profit of RON 36.6 m up 50% compared to the first half of last year. The second quarter saw profits soar by 158% compared to the first quarter of 2017, the firm added.
Exchange Rates: Xe.com 24 August 2017.