By Edwig Ban
A delegation of officials from the Romanian Government and several representatives of Romanian energy companies paid a visit to Kazakhstan last week to discuss with KazMunayGas, one of the major investors in Romania, the status of the Memorandum of Understanding concluded in 2013 between KMGI and the Government of Romania, which also provides for the creation of a common investment fund in the energy field, according to the State Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Robert Tudorache
"The two sides, the Romanian Energy Ministry and KMGI, have been working closely lately, making significant progress in implementing the first step of the Memorandum to set up a Romanian-Kazakh investment fund. We hope to announce the establishment of the Joint Investment Fund soon, "said Robert Tudorache in an interview for Kazpravda.
He said the fund would strengthen economic relations between Romania and Kazakhstan, representing the cornerstone in building an energy hub at the gateway to the European Union, and will also support KMGI's plans to strengthen its position both locally , both in Romania and at regional level.
Referring to the mixed fund profile and the projects that will develop under his umbrella, Robert Tudorache stressed that the fund is aimed at investments in the energy field, its priorities being in the field of the Romanian energy sector development with the main objective to strengthen the country's position as important regional actor in this area.
"In the discussions I had with the representatives of KMGI, two projects that could be developed within the Romanian-Kazakh Fund were addressed. These relate to the development of a combined heat and power cogeneration plant on Petromidia platform as well as to the extension of the Rompetrol filling station network to the Romanian market through greenfield investments. The investments in the two projects would amount to about 220 million dollars, their development having the clear capacity to boost the economy of Romania, the local energy sector, the investment climate and, of course, the profitability of Rompetrol, said the State Secretary in the Ministry of Energy .
KazMunayGas already owns 54.63% of Rompetrol Rafinare S.A. via KMG International NV while the Romanian Government holds a 44.68% stake. Rompetrol Rafinare S.A. owns Petromidia and Vega refineries as well as Rompetrol Petrochemicals.
In 2013, KazMunayGas and the Romanian state agreed that the Kazakh group will acquire an additional 26.7% stake in Rompetrol Rafinare for 200 million dollars and will set up a capital fund of 150 million dollars and assets in worth up to one billion dollars.
'The 2013 Memorandum is still in force. The works to establish a common investment fund and the acquisition of shares from the Romanian Government are underway, "KMG International said in July this year. that he intends to complete these goals in 2018-2019.
KazMunayGaz International, owned by the KazMunayGas oil company in Kazakhstan, is present in 11 countries and owns the Petromidia Năvodari refineries (largest unit in Romania) and Vega Ploieşti (the oldest refinery in operation), as well as distribution networks for fuels (Rompetrol) in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Georgia, France and Spain.