Friday, March 25, 2011

Romania's Petrom to close its Arpechim refinery

BUCHAREST, March 25 (Reuters) - Romania's top oil and gas company Petrom (SNPP.BX: Quote), majority owned by Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI:Quote), will close its Arpechim refinery after it failed to find a buyer for it, the company said on Friday.

The company will convert the refinery to crude and fuel storage and said that closing "small, inefficient and landlocked" Arpechim will not affect fuel supply in Romania.

The refinery was operational for only 3 months in 2010.

Petrom plans to pay a gross dividend of 0.0177 lei per share from last year's profit, which could be worth a total of about 1 billion lei ($342.6 million) according to calculations made by daily Ziarul Financiar.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the dividend proposal at a meeting on April 26.

Petrom shares were up 1.92 percent on the day by 0920 GMT, trading at 0.4250 lei, slightly above the bluechip index . (Reporting by Ioana Patran;

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