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Romania's Azomures halts ammonia production due to high natgas prices, asks govt for aid

Romania's Azomures halts ammonia production due to high natgas prices, asks govt for aid Source: Azomures

BUCHAREST (Romania), June 23 (SeeNews) - Romanian fertiliser producer Azomures said that it is suspending production of ammonia due to the high price of natural gas, which is the company's main raw material, and is asking the government to implement an EU-backed state-aid scheme for energy-intensive industries.

The company will continue to produce fertilisers until the existing ammonia stock is depleted, it said in a press release on Wednesday.

At this moment, the company is not considering technical unemployment but it may do so if the suspension of activity is extended, it noted.

Romania, unlike other European countries, has still not implemented an aid scheme for energy-intensive industries, provided for under the European legal framework, Azomures general manager Harri Kiiski said.

Gas prices on the European market have risen from 80 euro per MWh to 125 - 130 euro per MWh due to various factors: the explosion of a liquefied gas export terminal in the U.S., problems in the gas transmission chain and massive gas storage operations for the winter season 2022-2023, Azomures said. Also, fertilisers prices has decreased due to the agricultural season, the main activities now being those of crop harvesting, the company added.

Azomures shut down production in mid-December due to the high energy prices and resumed it in April.

Part of Swiss agribusiness group Ameropa since 2011, Azomures produces 1.6 million tonnes of fertilizers annually, and 75% of output is destined for local farms. Azomures industrial platform is located in the western part of the city of Targu Mures and covers an area of 100 hectares. The company employed 1,068 at the end of 2021, according to the latest data available on the finance ministry's website.

($=0.9516 euro)

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