The responsible decommissioning of the OMV-Petrom industrial complex
What is the challenge?
Closing a 240 ha chemical fertiliser production complex (Doljchim), a past major economic engine in Dolj county, Romania, raised the following challenge for its stakeholders: is the closure the end, or the beginning of a new journey to successful development?
What solution was adopted?
As potential solutions to mitigate the local impact were discussed in 2010, it became apparent that stronger local involvement and transparent information sharing were required in order to find a sustainable solution. Part of astoneco’s responsibility was to facilitate the creation and operation of a dialogue and collaboration platform – CERC (acronym for Ișalnița’s Community Resource Centre). A key aim was to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings and promote partnerships between the company, community and local authorities so that energy could be focused on working together to find the best solutions. Some of the actions that were co-implemented to build an effective partnership by the end of 2012 were:
- trust-building between stakeholders by co-designing and co-implementing joint small projects (22),
- developing an entrepreneurial mentality and related skills (10 business ideas and a farmers’ association in incubation),
- establishing CERC as a NGO, with a General Assembly of 209 members and a Council of 14 (with 9 Community, 2 OMV-Petrom and 3 Local Authorities representatives), and with an executive team of 2 Local Coordinators.
Key steps along the way included the creation of informed and transparent decision-making processes, mutual awareness of realities, ensuring commitments are respected and expectations are managed, making entrepreneurship more accessible, motivating and empowering people to take action.
Status of community-company partnership after astoneco finalised its facilitation (spring 2013):
- Small community projects continue to be co-designed and implemented.
- A farmers’ association was created and has started implementing its first business project: a local market for fresh local produce with storage facilities on the former Doljchim site.
- CERC is operating as an NGO; the dialogue between partners is on-going, with material decisions and activities being discussed openly once a month during the CERC Council meeting.
- OMV Petrom is involved in an on-going process to find new uses for the Doljchim site.
For a full GRI-based report of CERC 2011-2013, click here.