Socar to Invest 50 Million Euros to Expand Romanian Network

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan said it plans to invest 50 million euros ($65 million) to more than double the size of its retail network in Romania this year.

Socar will probably increase its Romanian network by 25 units, according to Hamza Karimov, who heads Socar’s local unit. It currently has 14 in the nation.

“We have a plan to further develop our network in the coming years and we’re analyzing further investments,” Karimov said in an interview in Bucharest today. “If we manage to open at least 20 stations this year, I’ll be happy.”

The state-owned energy producer seeks to more than double its investment in Romania, where it has so far spent 20 million euros and where Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIIS) AD, the Serbian energy company controlled by OAO Gazprom (GAZP) Neft, and Rompetrol Group NV plan to expand their retail networks.

To contact the reporters on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net; Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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