Rompetrol says it is ready to invest USD 350 mln in Romania if memorandum with government approved

Newsroom 14/01/2014 | 15:29

Oil and gas group Rompetrol, controlled by KazMunaiGas, says it is ready to invest USD 350 million in Romania based on a memorandum that will see the government receive USD 200 million for a minority stake in the company, reports Mediafax newswire.

According to the memorandum, Kazakh state owned company KazMunaiGas will repurchase a 26.69 percent stake in Rompetrol Rafinare from Romania. This deal rids the company of a USD 660 million debt to the Romanian budget, according to news portal www.hotnews.ro.

“We are glad that finally, the Romanian government is ready to assume the required steps for applying the memorandum agreed with Rompetrol Group. We hope this announcement will be shortly followed by concrete measures for removing the uncertainty that appeared at the end of 2013,” said Azamat Zangulov, the group’s vice president, in a statement.

“From our vantage point, we have taken all the preparatory measures for fulfilling the commitments included in the memorandum as soon as the government completes the adoption process.”

The Kazakh company aims to set up an energy investment fund worth USD 350 million. Rompetrol plans to invest USD 150 million in building a co-generation plant on the Petromidia refinery. The rest will be used to finance the expansion of the retail fuel stations network, which currently has 450 units.

Zangulov said in late December the memorandum could be approved this month. Meanwhile, Romanian Prime Minister has asked last week energy delegate minister Constantin Nita and justice minister Robert Cazanciuc to prepare the bill approving the memorandum.

The PM claimed this move would save the company and protect the country’s image in the face of investors.

The bill approving the memorandum was turned down by the Constitutional Court last November, following a notification of Romanian President Traian Basescu. The president commented that only certain provisions were attacked, adding the memorandum was overall valid.

Ovidiu Posirca

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