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BUCHAREST (Romania), June 14 (SeeNews) - Romania's top oil and gas group, OMV Petrom [BSE:SNP], said on Wednesday it has invested 5 million euro ($5.6 million) in the modernisation of the fuel quality test centre at its Petrobrazi refinery.
Following the upgrade, the centre now has three laboratories for testing of petroleum products and one laboratory for water environment tests, OMV said in a press release.
Other quality tests performed by the laboratory aim to check the content of water, sulphur, metals or gums in fuels, as well as the filterability temperature of diesel, which shows the lowest temperatures at which diesel engines can work run on the fuel without problems.
Around 150,000 laboratory tests are conducted annually at the test centre in Petrobrazi, OMV Petrom said.
In February, the group invested 60 million euro in a new unit at Petrobrazi refinery for the conversion of LPG components into petrol and middle distillates using a catalytic process. The new unit is expected to be fully operational at the beginning of 2019.
Investments made by OMV Petrom in the Petrobrazi refinery in Ploiesti, in southern Romania, since the refinery's privatisation in 2005 total 1.2 billion euro. With a refining capacity of 4.5 million tonnes per year, Petrobrazi can process the entire crude production of OMV Petrom in Romania.
OMV Petrom posted a 618 million lei ($148 million/136 million euro) net profit in the first three months of 2017, more than double compared to the same period of last year.
Romania sold Petrom to OMV in late 2004.
OMV hold a 51.01% stake in OMV Petrom shares, the Romanian state, via the energy ministry holds 20.64%, Fondul Proprietatea holds 12.57%, and 15.78% is in free float on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange.
Shares of blue chip OMV Petrom were traded flat at 0.3315 lei at 1334 CET on the Bucharest Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
(1 euro=4.5667 lei)