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Romania's Rompetrol Rafinare to invest in greening Vega Refinery's settling lagoons

Romania's Rompetrol Rafinare to invest in greening Vega Refinery's settling lagoons

BUCHAREST (Romania), July 17 (SeeNews) - Romania's Rompetrol Rafinare [BSE:RRC] said it is continuing a programme for remediation and greening of the historical lagoons of Vega Ploiesti Refinery and the transition to neutralization and effective disposal of acid tar and oil residues.

The deadline for completion is forecast for 2022, the investment effort amounting to several tens of millions dollars, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is an important project for Rompetrol Rafinare and its majority shareholder KMG International and demonstrates our commitment to continuously reducing the impact of our activities and operations on the environment and on the health of local communities, as well as efforts to align with the most demanding provisions of national and EU legislation in the field," Rompetrol Rafinare general manager Yedil Utekov said.

The lagoons reflect the evolution of the refining industry over 160 years, acid tars and petroleum residues being produced and stored overwhelmingly in the period before the privatization of Vega Ploiesti Refinery (1905-1999).

At the time of the privatization in 1999, the amount of waste that the future shareholder was to take over for greening was estimated at about 62,000 tons, afterwards being notified that the existing volume in lagoons is at least four times bigger. Up to now, over 80,000 tons have been removed, with associated costs rising to about $17.4 million (15.5 million euro).

The actual stage of the project implies two main trends: treating tars and transforming them into solid waste that will be stored on site without endangering health and environment, as well as recovery through co-incineration in authorized plants.

The disposal of historic acid tar is not the only environmental investment in progress for the Vega refinery. This year, KMG International is investing around $8 million to keep the Vega refinery at the highest standards of quality, environment and safety for employees and Ploiesti.

Currently, Rompetrol Rafinare operates Petromidia Navodari – the largest refinery in Romania, and Vega Ploiesti – the oldest working refinery. Vega is the only Romanian producer of bitumen and hexane and its petrochemical division is the sole producer of polymers.

Rompetrol Rafinare is majority owned by KMG International with 54.63% and the Romanian energy ministry with 44.69%.

Rompetrol Rafinare shares traded 1.04% higher at 0.485 lei as at 1449 CET on Wednesday on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

($ = 0.8914 euro)