The city of Buzău (formerly Buzeu, or Buzĕu; Romanian pronunciation: [buˈzəw]) is the county seat of Buzău County, Romania, in the historical region of Wallachia. It lies near the right bank of the Buzău River, between the south-eastern curvature of the Carpathian Mountains and the lowlands of Bărăgan Plain.
- 1832: 2,567
- 1864: 9,027
- 1892: 17,300
- 1900: 21,000
- 1941: 44,511
- 1968: 66,433
- 1977: 101,149
- 1992: 148,087
- 2002: 134,227
- 2011: 115,494
After World War II, the establishment of the Communist government, and the nationalization decision of 11 June 1948 all companies in Buzău became state property. Also, the Communist government began implementing forced industrialization, some of the industries that developed in Buzău during the Communist rule being unsuitable for the location. In 1965 the industrial platform Buzău South was inaugurated, on 318 ha of land, in the area where the Saturn refinery previously had existed, before being blown up during World War II. The most important factories in Buzău, created or enhanced at this time, are located in the Buzău South industrial zone: The Steel Wire and Steel Wire-by Products (renamed Ductil after 1990), The Railway Equipment Factory (after 1990, Apcarom), Metalurgica (founded in 1928), The Glass Factory(after 1991, Gerom S.A.).
Other industrial state enterprises opened in Buzău in other parts of the city. Thus, The Contactors Factory is located in the north-western part of the city and the plastic factory (after 1990, Romcarbon S.A.) is located in the north side.
In spite of the forced industrialization process, Buzău was not based on solely one leading industry, as it happened in other Romanian cities, and there was no single factory on which the entire city economy depended. According to a new law of commercial societies, adopted 1990, after the fall of the Communist regime, the factories in the city reorganized as joint stock companies. Only some of the companies failed to become competitive on a market economy and were closed during the transition process, many others, after reorganizing, became functional businesses.
The largest Buzău-based company is the Romet holding, with Romanian capital, made up of several companies that produce isolation material for water and gas pipes, water purifiers, fire-extinguishers and other such products. The company became successful during the 1990s, by selling its Aquator water purifier. In 1999, this group acquired Aromet S.A., company which managed the Metalurgica factory, founded in 1928.
Other companies in Buzău were privatized by programs supervised by the World Bank. Apcarom S.A., the only Romanian producer of railway equipment, was taken over by the Austrian company VAE, and had, as of 2008 a social capital of 7.38 million lei. Ductil S.A., one of the largest businesses in Buzău, was privatized in 1999 and subsequently divided by the new majority shareholder, FRO Spa, which kept only the electrods and welding equipment section and sold the other departments. The section that produces steel wire and steel wire products, steel nets and concrete became Ductil Steel S.A. and is now part of the portfolio of the Italian company Sidersipe. The iron powder section was renamed Ductil Iron Powder. In 2007, FRO Spa sold their majority shares of Ductil S.A. to the Russian Mechel company, for 90 million euros.Zahărul S.A., the local sugar producer, was acquired by the Agrana România Austrian capital group, which owns other sugar factories in Roman and Ţăndărei.
The baking industry still plays an important role in the local economy. The largest producer on this market in Buzău isBoromir Prod, whose majority shareholder is the Boromir Ind group of Râmnicu Vâlcea.
Buzău is an important regional railway hub, as railroads connecting Bucharest and Ploiești to Focșani, Galați and Constanțameet in the city. The main railway station was inaugurated in 1872, together with the Bucharest-Galați railroad.
Buzău is reachable by road via DN2 (E85) from Bucharest and the main cities from Moldavia. DN1B connects Buzău to Ploiești and DN10 crosses the Carpathian Mountains at their curvature through the Buzău Pass to Braşov. Galați and Brăilacan be reached via DN2B.