(pennenergy) -- Diversified Romanian
holding InterAgro, which owns several fertilizer plants in the country, plans to
form a joint-venture company in the chemical industry with Gazprom Schweiz AG
for processing Russian and Romanian natural gas.
The natural gas would be
processed in InterAgro's facilities, but also in other plants in Romania.
According to a separate report, Swiss grain and fertilizers trader Ameropa just
took over Romania's largest fertilizers producer, Azomures, from Turkish
investors. The natural gas supply is a critical element in the fertilizer
industry as it accounts for the largest part of the production costs.
The Romanian government has to take the first steps towards natural gas
market liberalisation for non-residential users as soon as this year.
InterAgro's fertilizers producers were subject to state subsidies broadly
allowed to the chemical industry over the past couple of years, when the
chemical companies were allowed to process 100% cheap natural gas. But such
preferential regime is unlikely in the future, under the pressure of EU
directives that Romania is already late in enforcing.