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MOL pipeline to link Hungarian and Slovakian petchem units

MOL Nyrt, the largest oil company in the 10 newest European Union countries, said it may consider building a pipeline to connect its Slovakian and Hungarian petrochemical sites to improve their efficiency. MOL is examining a plan to construct a link to carry ethylene, a raw material for plastics production, between its petrochemical sites in Tiszaújváros, northeast Hungary and Bratislava, the Slovakian capital, said Árpád Olvasó, head of MOL's petrochemical division, by telephone yesterday. He declined to give any further details about the plan. He said they are working on a study about how they could further harmonize the operations of their Hungarian and Slovakian units. Budapest-based MOL has been expanding the output of its Slovakian and Hungarian petrochemical units to satisfy rising demands for its plastics products, such as polyethylene and polypropylene. The company spent € 430 million ($540 million) between 2002 and 2005 to boost capacity at the Hungarian site operated by TVK Nyrt, its local subsidiary. Operating profit of MOL's petrochemical division fell 62% to Ft 3.7 billion ($16.8 million) in the first quarter because of higher raw-material prices, the company said in its earnings report. MOL operates in Slovakia through Slovnaft AS, of which it owns 98.4%. The Hungarian company said it separated its Slovakian petrochemical business into Slovnaft Petrochemicals s.r.o., a new subsidiary, as of July 1. (Bloomberg)