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Petromaxx plans to puild $157 mln refinery

Petromaxx Energy Group Gmbh, an Austrian oil company, will build a $157 million refinery in Bulgaria to meet growing demand in the Balkan country as it joins the European Union in 2007. Terence Montague-Moore, Petromaxx's chairman, said yesterday that „Fuel demand in Bulgaria will grow as the market and industry grow and as the EU brings in lots of new opportunities,” Montague-Moore told reporters in Sofia yesterday. „The Bulgarian market is currently grossly undersupplied, by around 70% in our estimates.” Bulgaria has one crude refinery on the Black Sea, which is controlled by OAO Lukoil, Russia's biggest oil producer. Lukoil Neftochim Bourgas last year processed 6.45 million tons of crude, a 14% increase on 2004. Petromaxx has so far invested some $60 million in the refinery project, financed mostly by the Petromaxx group of companies, Montague-Moore said. The refinery will employ 1,000 people for its construction and 300 people for its operation. „The refinery will have a closed production circle, employing a new wasteless technology,” said Vladimir Nachev, Peteromaxx's Bulgarian representative. Its equipment will be designed and delivered by Houston, Texas-based company Basic Equipment, he said. (Bloomberg)