The Arpechim Refinery in Pitesti, south Romania has to suspend its activities starting Tuesday as the environment authorities set a several weeks-long term for the company to bring all its installations in line with the safety standards of the EU, Environment minister Attila Korodi told NewsIn news agency on Monday.

Arpechim belongs to Petrom, Romania’s biggest oil company that has OMV as a majority shareholder. Arpechim produces half of the fuel sold by Petrom.

Following the announcement some 2,000 workers at Arpechim are expected to be unable to work starting today.

If the plant doesn’t solve its safety and environmental problem, the Regional Agency for Environment Protection-Pitesti will have to annul its environmental authorization, meaning worse times for Arpechim.

According to minister Korodi, the agency has only suspended the environmental authorization for now because the plant did not comply with EU directives dealing with the integrated control of pollution and with strategic installations that process hazardous substances.

A Petrom press release sent to NewsIn on Monday night says that the closure of the refinery was a drastic measure that has a negative impact on the economy of Romania and especially on the petrochemical industry in the country. The document says Petrom will use all its legal means to challenge the measure.