YEREVAN, July 10. /ARKA/. Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan told Nairit chemical giant’s employees as met them today that the next week they will receive their one-month salary and that the new government will try to find guilty persons and punish them. He said the government will also find ways for re-launching the plant.
Some 100 employees of the plant gathered today outside the government’s building demanding repayment of their accumulated outstanding salaries.
The Cabinet was in session at the moment and Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan promised the demonstrators a meeting after the completion of the session and proposed them to choose 20 delegates for the meeting.
Hrach Tadevosyan, chairman of the plant’s trade union, said the Nairit employees want the plant to resume operating. He said the government should decide whether to freeze the plant’s debts or to do something else. “There were many proposals,” he said. One of them was to separate a part of the plant, as it was in 2001, and distribute debts recognizing one part as a bankrupt and launching the other part without debt to make it attractive for investors.
Tadevosyan said there are 2,300 people employed at Nairit, but only 800 of them are working now, while others are on forced leave receiving two thirds of their wages. Outstanding wages for 16 months have been accumulated since 2010.
The prime minister said that he will discuss the matter on June 11 when meets his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi.
Nairit was the only plant in the Soviet Union to produce chloroprene rubber. The plant was closed in 1989 for environmental reasons and resumed operating partially in 1992.
In 2001, some production facilities were separated from the plant for producing chloroprene rubber and a debt-free enterprise based on them was established.
In 2006, 90% of Nairit’s shares were sold to British Rainoville Property Limited for $40 million. The remaining 10% belong to the Armenian government.
In late December 2013, Rosneft, Pirelli Tyre Armenia and Rosneft-Armenia signed a memorandum to produce butadiene-styrene rubber here.
Earlier, former prime minister Tigran Sargsyan said that Rosneft wanted to invest $400 million in the new plant, and Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volinkin voiced hope that Nairit specialists would be in demand at the new enterprise.
Rosneft has not backtracked on its investment program so far. Nairit’s outstanding payments totaled $12 million in November 2013. -0----