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Azomureș adjusts its operations in the context of the energy crisis

The energy crisis at the European level causes the management of
Azomureș, the only producer of agricultural fertilizers in Romania, to
adopt a new set of measures to reduce activities on the production
platform for the coming months.

Azomures production has been significantly reduced during 2022.
Energy prices in Romania have been much higher than production costs.
Currently close to 70% of European fertilizer production is shut down.

„It’s been a year since we drew attention to the problems that can
arise in the industrial area, with the increase in energy prices. Energy
prices have been high since fall 2021, significant spike hikes have
been realised after the Russian invation – energy market continues to be
volatile after closure of NorthStream 1. Despite the fact that Romania
had at its disposal a support scheme, which other European states have
applied, until now there has been no form of support for the industry
that uses natural gas as a raw material in the production activity. The
population is supported by capping the price of gas and electricity, but
what happens if people run out of jobs to pay the bills? This is where
the greatest danger is and unfortunately we are in a position to take
new measures, some of which have an impact on our employees”, said Harri
Kiiski, the general manager of Azomureș.

The companies that provide various maintenance services on the
Azomureș platform have been notified that their activity will be reduced
by at least 30% in the coming months, with a potential direct impact on
the employees of these companies. More than 200 other direct employees
of Azomureș are also affected, delegation to other companies or
technical unemployment being the solutions identified so far. Only
essential staff are retained for night and weekend shifts, which will
reduce the income of a significant number of employees. From an
operational point of view, the facilities are ready in any case to be
restarted at 50% capacity, when the economic realities are met.

The authorities in Romania will soon have at their disposal a new set
of measures that can be applied to support the local industry,
including that of fertilizers. Their application represents the
maintenance of thousands of active jobs and the collection of
substantial revenues to the state budget, directly and indirectly
through the companies that depend on the large industrial platforms.

European commission has lately included fertilizer industries to key
industries that should be kept operational “financial support measures
to support companies in energy intensive industries such as fertilizer
production”.

Azomureș is the most important producer of fertilizers for
agriculture in Romania. Azomureș also supplies raw materials (Urea and
Melamine) for several industrial targets in Romania. The annual
production (under normal operating conditions) is 1.6 million tons of
fertilizers, approximately 75% of the production being intended for
Romanian farms. Azomureș is part of the Swiss group Ameropa, one of the
largest traders of fertilizers and grains globally.