First Rompetrol Integrated Service Centres on the A1 Highway
The Kazakh-Romanian Energy Investment Fund (KREIF) and Rompetrol Downstream – the retail structural subdivision of the KMG International Group in Romania, opened on March 9th the first four integrated service centres on the A1 highway (Nadlac – Sibiu section), near the town of Pecica (km 558+380, left and right) and town of Orastie (KM 340+500, left and right).
The stations were handed over for equipment, operation, and maintenance by The National Company for Road Infrastructure Administration to Rompetrol Downstream, based on service concession contracts awarded by public auction.
Part of the IV Pan-European Transport Corridor (Dresden – Istanbul), the A1 highway is the main connecting road to and from Hungary and the western countries of the European Union, both for commercial purposes and for tourists.
“This is a premiere for Romania, a brand-new concept, developed for the new gas stations on the highways, which ensures clients’ access to a variety of products and services, to generous spaces for rest, relaxation or having meals with the loved ones, and spaces for local and regional producers. There are also fast electric charging stations, and the partnership concluded with the KFC chain of restaurants,” says Catalin Dumitru, Retail and Marketing Director in KMG International and member of the Board of Directors of the Kazakh-Romanian Energy Investment Fund.
The four stations inaugurated on March 9th are part of a 12 service centres package that the Fund will open on the A1 highway, with a total investment estimated at over 40 million dollars. The investment effort for the first four integrated centres amounted 14 million dollars, with the remaining eight units to be opened in the next period, near Sagu (Arad County), Giarmata and Recas (Timis), Cristian (Sibiu).
The new stations have a total surface of approximately 4.260 sq. m. – on right of Pecica (596 sq. m. interior area), 4.260 sq. m. – left of Pecica (596 sq. m.), 6.200 sq. m. for right of Orastie (596 sq. m.) and 6.220 sq. m. for left of Orastie (523 sq. m.). The interior space is three times bigger than an average Rompetrol gas station and it includes shop, restaurant, coffee-shop, playground for children, dedicated spaces for mothers with children and facilities for disabled people.
“The Rompetrol brand continues its development on national and regional levels. In 2013 we launched a new general concept of Rompetrol stations, at the end of 2019 we showed the clients its development by aligning the façade elements with current trends and optimizing the space for gastro products, and now we move to the next level – a new Rompetrol station for highways in Romania. These are also the first gas stations in Romania where one can have hot meals, made with fresh ingredients from local producers. The menu suits every taste and includes dishes from traditional and international cuisine,” states Zhanibek Nugertayev, the General Manager of Rompetrol Downstream.
With about 45-65 new employees per gas station, each one is equipped with 6 fuel dispensers for cars, 2 fast dispensers for trucks/international truck drivers/buses, an AdBlue pump, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply skid, vapor recovery systems and LED lighting, and also 4 fast charging stations for electric cars. For a lower energy consumption, the company analyses the possibility to install high efficiency photovoltaic panels in the next period.
Among the services offered by the gas stations there are Fill & Go systems, terminals for payment of the vignette/invoices/bank transfers/buying insurance, and also 97 parking places (Pecica) and 108 (Orastie) for cars and trucks.
The new concept ensures a natural development of the “hei” brand, by turning it into an umbrella brand, hence creating three distinctive service lines – hei & gourmet for the assisted service for the restaurant hot meals, hei & go for the shop products and hei & coffee for coffee, pastry and sandwiches.
“In addition to that, together with the local authorities we try to find local and regional producers interested in the promotion and selling of the Romanian products, whereas depending on their interest, we will continue the development of this services center by creating dedicated spaces and safe trading conditions,” Zhanibek Nugertayev added.
Another premiere for the gas stations located on the highways in Romania is the partnership between Rompetrol and KFC, operated by the holding Sphera Franchise Group. Thus, the KFC restaurants will have distinct spaces and will be found in 3 locations out of 12 Rompetrol gas stations on A1 highway (Pecica – km 558+380, Giarmata – km 500+596 and Orastie – km 340 +500).
About the Kazakh Romanian Energy Investment Fund (KREIF)
Part of the Memorandum of Understanding concluded in 2014 between KMG International and the Romanian State, the Kazakh-Romanian Energy Investment Fund was established in October 2018, its main and strategic objective pursuing the development of energy projects in Romania. Its only shareholders are KMG International and Societatea de Administrare a Participatiilor in Energie – SAPE.
The Investment Fund has two major investment projects under development – the construction of a thermoelectric cogeneration plant on the Midia platform and the fuel distribution network development under Rompetrol umbrella.
The construction of the new cogeneration plant started in May 2021, whereas the estimated deadline for its commissioning is in the second half of this year. The total amount of investment exceeds $ 152 million and will generate around $ 11 million of taxes paid to the state budget.
In line with the strategy adopted in 2019 by its shareholders, the Fund set out the goal to reach a network of 84 gas stations. 48 gas stations are already built, from which 4 stations will be put into commissioning in the near future.
The gas stations will sell exclusively the Efix range of car fuel products – produced in Petromidia refinery from Navodari. This refinery is part of the Rompetrol Rafinare company, owned by KMG International (54,63% – direct and indirect) and by the State of Romania through the Ministry of Energy (44,7%).
The total amount of investments under implementation by the KREIF reached $ 315 million by the end of 2022.
About Rompetrol Downstream
Rompetrol Downstream is the retail structural subdivision of the KMG International Group in Romania.
As of the end of 2022 the company operated a network of 1.257 stations for selling the fuel, which includes stations owned by Rompetrol, Partener Rompetrol, as well as mobile stations – Rompetrol Express and internal bases (9 and 20 cubic meter tanks located at the premises of companies from various fields of activity – transportation, construction, agriculture, etc.)
Additionally, the company operates at the national level 6 fuel depots, over 280 LPG stations, and over 7.000 LPG cylinders distribution points/Rompetrol for household use.
By expanding and diversifying the range of services and products offered, supported by the possibility of charging electric cars or mobile applications, Rompetrol stations have evolved in the last 15 years, becoming service centres and energy suppliers for customers.
The retail structural subdivision of the KMG International Group launched in 2017 the first gas station with the electrical chargers for the electric cars, whereas in 2018 finished the installation of high-capacity solar panels at one of the gas stations operated by Rompetrol in Bucharest, a premiere for Romania and the Black Sea region.
In 2020 the company implemented a new service dedicated to natural persons – “CashBack”, through which the withdrawal of cash with 0% commission is possible at any Rompetrol gas station. Rompetrol Downstream was the first player from the oil & gas industry and one of the first non-banking companies in Romania, which launched the cash withdrawal service at the national level.