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Rompetrol may remain closed up to half a year after July 2 explosion

Romania's biggest refinery Petromidia, controlled by the Kazakh state-owned group KMG (48.1%) but with the Romanian state owning a big share as well (44.7%), will remain closed for three to six months after the explosion at one of its units on July 2, according to experts consulted by Ziarul Financiar daily.


The company says it is collaborating with authorities to find the causes of the accident but provides no calendar for the refinery's restart. It promises, however, to meet all the contractual obligations toward its customers by deliveries from either its own reserves or from the trading division of KMG International Group.


"The safe restart of the technological installations on the Petromidia platform depends both on the volume of repair works and verification of the machinery and equipment affected by the incident, and on the procurement of the equipment in the shortest possible time, in order to replace the affected ones," the company informed.


The explosion at the Petromidia refinery took place after the unit underwent a general overhaul between March 13 and April 30, 2020. In the end, all the installations were verified by state inspection body CNCIR, and the reopening was approved by another state body, ISCIR. None of the two accepts that it is their final responsibility whether the works were in line with the regulations.


Furthermore, Ziarul Financiar daily unveils the political-biased appointments at the top of both institutions. In April 2020, Ionel-Emanuel Oproiu, a member of the ruling party PNL, was appointed at the top of ISCIR less than two months after joining the institution's accounting department. Previously he has served at a city hall in southern Romania (Scornice?ti). CNCIR general manager is, since 2018, Ioana Timofte - the niece of the former head of intelligence services (SRI) Radu Timofte.

Three people died as a result of the explosion in Petromidia.