Romania’s largest chemical group Chimcomplex, which operates the Oltchim and Borzeşti industrial platforms, announced that it is starting a collective redundancy programme targeting 396 employees “in an attempt to cope with the explosion of energy prices”, according to a note to investors filed by the company to the Bucharest Stock exchange.
Compared to the group’s employment (1,936 on June 30), this means roughly a 20% workforce reduction. The group is one of the largest natural gas consumers in the country.
“This measure is based on the need to resize and streamline the company's activity, as a result of the synergies/mergers between the industrial platforms in Râmnicu Vâlcea and Onești, but also in the current economic and geopolitical context, in which the company aims to optimise the operational and operating costs, to streamline its activity, in order to use the human and financial resources with maximum efficiency, adapt to the influences exerted by the national and international crisis context in order to overcome all challenges,” the company explained.
Chimcomplex reported its H1 turnover rose by 7% y/y to RON1.22bn, while also reporting that its profit plunged by 42% y/y up to RON165mn amid an increase in energy and gas prices.
Chimcomplex is just one of Europe’s energy-intensive companies that has been forced to shut down or curtail operations as energy prices have risen to decade-long highs. As reported by bne IntelliNews, dozens of plants across a diverse range of industries such as steel, aluminium, fertilisers and the power industry itself have been forced to close up shop as sky-high gas and power prices make their businesses lossmaking.
Also in Romania, the operations of fertiliser producer Azomures have been disrupted since December 2021 by high gas prices. Azomures produces 50% of the fertilisers used by Romanian farmers and is the largest natural gas consumer in the country accounting for 10% of total consumption.
Also back in December, aluminium producer Alro announced a scaling back of production for 2022 “in the context of the exceptional situation on the energy and gas markets”.