Oil and gas company Rompetrol Group, owned by Kazakh – based KazMunaiGaz, plans to invest some USD 200 million in expanding the network of gas stations in Romania. The group also plans to expand its retail network around the Black Sea by at least 50 percent, according to Senior Vice President Azamat Zhangulov, quoted by Bloomberg.
Rompetrol plans to open 150 new gas stations in Romania, while 200 other stations will be added in Bulgaria, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. The expansion comes as a response to the increasing production at the Petromidia refinery in Romania, according to Zhangulov.
The plan has a term of three to five years “but we want to do them as fast as we can and we feel it is the right moment to do it,” he added. Rompetrol currently runs 450 gas stations in Romania, within a total of 1,000 across Europe.
Rompetrol has invested about USD 1.3 billion over the past 10 years in increasing the annual capacity of its Petromidia refinery on the Romanian Black Sea. It will invest a further USD 100 million in the refinery this year to make it profitable. The company is also considering adding a 5-megawatt gas-fired power plant to secure the energy consumption of the Petromidia refinery and make it more efficient.
KazMunaiGaz bought 75 percent in Romania- based Rompetrol from its former owner, Dinu Patriciu, in 2007. It bought the remaining 25 percent in 2009.
The company has been part of a legal fight with the Romanian state over an alleged unpaid debt of some EUR 570 million. It ended up with Rompetrol giving the Romanian state a stake of 44.7 percent in the refinery on account of a portion of the debt. “We are trying to buy back the shares and that is a matter of price,” Zhangulov said, according to Bloomberg.