1 Jul 2022 09:35

EuroChem's Lithuanian plant to resume production in early Aug

VILNIUS. July 1 (Interfax) - EuroChem's Lifosa phosphate fertilizer plant in Lithuania, which was hit by European Union sanctions and is under temporary administration, plans to resume operations on August 7, the company said in a statement.

Production is expected to resume at 70% of capacity. The biggest problem is approving sales of products and purchases of phosphate feedstock. Sales of inventory can generate sufficient working capital to buy feedstock.

In July the plant will aim to sell more product and renew contracts to buy feedstock that ensure long-term supplies, the company said. Some contracts are already being discussed, and at the end of July the plant will strive to bring back all employees from their down time, it said.

The temporary administration has already approved the sale of finished product totalling 19 million euros.

A plan to resume operations at the plant was finalized last week. Most of the plant's employees are now idling or on forced leave.

Disruptions in Lifosa's operations began after the EU imposed sanctions against the now former beneficiary of the plant's Russian parent company EuroChem, Russian billionaire Andrei Melnichenko on March 9. The plant's accounts were frozen. In mid-March Lithuania's Foreign Ministry, which is responsible for enforcing international sanctions in the country, allowed the plant to use some of its money to pay employees, utility bills and taxes, but the plant was shut down on April 10.

EuroChem reported on March 10 that Melnichenko ceased to be the Russian fertilizer producer's beneficiary and left its board of directors on March 9.