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Serbia starts talks for sale of Petrohemija to NIS - govt official

Author Radomir Ralev
Serbia starts talks for sale of Petrohemija to NIS - govt official Dragan Stevanovic; Source: Serbia's economy ministry

BELGRADE (Serbia), October 21 (SeeNews) - Serbia has officially started talks for the sale of petrochemicals producer HIP Petrohemija to oil and gas company NIS [BEL:NIIS], a government official said.

"The government made appropriate decisions last week, and yesterday we officially started negotiations with NIS as a potential strategic partner," Dragan Stevanovic, state secretary at the economy ministry, said as seen in a video file posted on the website of Tanjug news agency on Wednesday.

NIS placed the sole bid in a tender for a strategic partner in HIP Petrohemija earlier this month. The strategic partner intends to inject 150 million euro ($177 million) in the capital of HIP Petrohemija, acquiring a stake of up to 90% in the company's capital.

"NIS has already accepted the commitments in its offer, which is that in the next six years it will invest 150 million euro in HIP Petrohemija's plant, will build a polypropylene production plant with a capacity of at least 140,000 tonnes per year and will keep the optimal number of workers," Stevanovic said.

The Serbian government owns a 75.27% stake in the capital of HIP Petrohemija, NIS owns 20.86%, Russia's Lukoil controls 3.09%, while the remainder is in the hands of smaller shareholders.

HIP Petrohemija owns petrochemical complexes in Pancevo, Elemir and Crepaja. It specialises in producing high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and other petrochemical products with an annual production capacity of 700,000 tonnes.

($ = 0.859 euro)