Rompetrol expands operations to Albania

The Rompetrol Group announced today the opening of Rompetrol Albania, a retail and wholesale subsidiary marketing Rompetrol products in Albania and also in several neighboring nations.

“It is yet another step forward we took while pursuing our regional expansion strategy during the past two years,” said Dinu Patriciu, President and CEO of The Rompetrol Group.

Rompetrol Albania operates a 14,000 mt capacity facility located in Durres - Porto Romano, which supplies 10 Rompetrol-managed filling stations, 40 other private operators, and 10 wholesalers. This year the company plans to increase storage capacity to 20,000 mt, while the number of Rompetrol-managed filling stations will rapidly grow to 15-20 by the end of February.

The EUR 3 million investment plan budgeted for 2005 includes the building of two new filling stations in Tirana and Duress, upgrading leased stations to Rompetrol standards, and building of a system allowing ship unloading directly into the storage facility (floating terminal).

Rompetrol Albania is the sole company offering products complying with EU standards on a market still permitting the sale of low quality fuels (such as Gasoil 2). Given these circumstances, the company aims to increase its sales to 150,000 tons this year, and capture a 10% market share.

”The reasons behind our decision to operate in Albania chiefly regard market potential and business profitability. Consumption is on the rise and our products’ superior quality will translate adequately into sales. It is almost ”virgin” land here, the big players networks are missing,” said Bogdan Costache, manager of Rompetrol Albania.

The management of Rompetrol Albania has initiated negotiations with several wholesale distributors in the region, to export Rompetrol products to Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro.