Rompetrol Bulgaria opens first gas station including a “Hei” convenience store in Sofia

Rompetrol Bulgaria, a subsidiary of Dutch-registered The Rompetrol Group NV (TRG), opened today its first filling station with a “Hei” convenience store in Sofia. The “Hei” concept was introduced to the Romanian filling stations network in 2005. “Hei” offers a convenience store, restaurant, and Internet kiosk. Customers can enjoy these new high standard services, on top of the traditional Rompetrol fuel quality.
Currently, Rompetrol Bulgaria operates 15 company owned and 35 franchise stations. The new filling station is located at 175, Lomsko Shose, and the investment totaled 1.1 million Euro ($1.55 million).

TRG’s general contractor, Rominserv, developed the project after opening its own branch office in Bulgaria earlier this year in order to serve Rompetrol Bulgaria in the development of its filling stations network.  
“We want to position Rompetrol as an innovating company on the Bulgarian market as well,  by introducing new products and services, as we have already done in Romania,” said Eric Kish, TRG Retail Business Unit Vice President.
“In Bulgaria we estimate we will have 25 company owned filling stations and 60 franchises by year end. Rompetrol has a regional network of some 650 stations and aims to expand its operations to 2,500+ filling stations in the next three years. The development of the network implies expansion of the fuel stations segment and developing partnerships in the countries we are operating in, Bulgaria included. TRG also holds filling stations in France, Albania, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova,” added Kish.

The new Sofia filling station is fitted with three double pumps supplying four types of fuels: Euro Plus 95, Super Euro 98, Diesel Super Euro 4 and Autogas (LPG). The station is equipped with the “Fill&Go” management system, which allows for quick payment, directly at the pump, for the card or ring systems, a car wash, and a children’s playground next to the “Hei” terrace.

"All these services and quality products successful on the Romanian market will also be introduced in Bulgaria. At the same time, we will initiate a long-term social responsibility program,” stated Adrian Acatrinei, Rompetrol Bulgaria CEO.

“The first step consists in identifying locations in need of revamping – kindergardens, schools, and parks, in cooperation with Rominserv and local authorities. We have a budget of 15,000 Euro for the rest of this year, and, in line with arising needs, we will expand the program to other locations where we operate fuel distribution stations,” detailed Acatrinei.

The “Fill&Go” system was launched in Romania in 2004. Currently, all filling stations Rompetrol Downstream operates in Romania are fitted with the “Fill&Go Business” fuel payment system: “Fill&Go Card” and “Fill&Go Ring,” which are targeted at companies aiming to achieve high-performance in vehicle fleet management. Rompetrol also offers in Romania “Fill&Go Personal,” a quick-payment individual instrument designed to avoid cash register crowds, and with convenient and secure monthly billing. 

About Rompetrol Bulgaria
Rompetrol Bulgaria was established in 2003 as the first international division of The Rompetrol Group outside of Romania, and focused on boosting fuel wholesale in its first two years. Starting with 2005, Rompetrol Bulgaria initiated an aggressive retail operations development plan on the local market. In 2006 alone, investments exceeded $7.9 million, a rise of 150 percent compared to 2005. Rompetrol Bulgaria sales volumes totaled 200,000 tons in 2006, and is expected to reach 250,000 tons this year. The Rompetrol Group completed a strategic investment at its Ruse-based storage facility, which boasts state-of-the-art technologies concerning oil products management, wholesales, safety, and environmental protection. The storage facility provides ship, railway, and road loading amenities, thus ensuring smooth wholesale operations on Bulgarian territory. In order to respond to wholesale customer demands, Rompetrol Bulgaria leased another two storage facilities this year, conveniently located in Varna and Sofia. The company posted a turnover of $200 million in 2006 and estimates reaching $230 million in 2007.