A 19.6 million euro fine for price fixing has forced Slovakia's Novacke Chemicke Zavody (NCHZ) to file for protection from its creditors, the company said on Friday.

The European Commission in July fined eight suppliers of calcium carbide and magnesium-based reagents a total of 61 million euros. NCHZ received the biggest individual fine.

The cartel fine is exterminatory, Miroslav Suba, NCHZ's board chairman told local news channel TA3.

He said steps were being taken to delay, lower or cancel the fine's payment.

The company, owned by Cyprus-based Disor Holdings Limited , produces inorganic and organic products and polymers, and employs some 1,600 workers. Local authorities warned a massive lay-off would hurt the region badly.

The company NCHZ following the award of drastic fine by the European Commission in July of this year requested the respective court to protect the company from its creditors, said a statement published on the company's website.

 (Reporting by Martin Santa; Editing by David Cowell)