BUCHAREST, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Romanian oil company Petrom, SNPP.BX owned by Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), has halted activity at the pyrolysis unit of its Arpechim refinery after a client announced plans to reduce output, it said on Thursday.
Chemical plant Oltchim OLTC.BX has said it will cut activity by 20-40 percent this month because the global financial crisis has slashed demand. It also announced plans to lay off 500 workers.
"The activity at the pyrolysis unit at Arpechim was halted temporarily after Oltchim, one of our main clients, said they will reduce activity," Petrom, the country's largest oil company, said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
The company said none of Petrom's workers would be affected by the shutdown of the unit, which produces ethylene and propylene.
Last week, Petrom reported a 5 percent fall in third-quarter net profit, due to a one-off impairment charge to the book value of the Arpechim refinery. Its net profit was 626 million lei ($218 million) while sales rose 46 percent to 4.733 billion lei.
The group's results beat market expectations as it had hedged to mitigate the impact of falling oil prices. (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Anthony Barker)