Gaz de France acquires a 59% stake in Depomures, the second-largest Romanian natural gas storage operator that runs the facility of Tirgo Mures in northern Romania.
This storage facility, located in a depleted natural gas field, can store up to 300 million cubic meter of natural gas; this capacity should reach 600 million cubic meter by 2011-2012. Gaz de France acquired this equity interest from the Azomures (50%) and Infochem (9%) Groups; the rest of the capital is held by Romgaz (40%), the national gas company, and minority shareholders (1%). Already owning a 65% stake in Amgaz, the third-largest Romanian storage operator with a capacity of 40 million cubic meter of natural gas, this new transaction makes Gaz de France the largest private investor in the Romanian storage market. The Group’s development of new storage capacity will bolster the reliability of gas supplies in Romania.
After the acquisition of a 400 million cubic meter storage project in Stublach (UK) in August earlier this year, this new transaction allows Gaz de France to significantly expand its presence in the gas storage sector in Europe. Building on 50 years’ experience in different storage technologies, the Group now operates the second-largest storage capacity Europe with facilities in France, Germany, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, and Romania. “This acquisition provides Gaz de France with an opportunity to reinforce its activities in Romania, where the group has been present since 2005 via its subsidiary Distrigaz Sud. A leading European player in the storage of natural gas, Gaz de France is also pursuing, thanks to Amgaz and Depomures, the international deployment of this activity, which represents an essential link in the gas supply chain,” said Jean-François Carrière, Gaz de France’s Vice President Central Europe.
The Gaz de France Group is a major player in the European energy market. Ranked first in the distribution of natural gas in Europe, Gaz de France employs more than 50,000 people and, in 2006, generated sales of €28 billion ($39.5 billion). The Group boasts a portfolio of approximately 14 million customers, some 11 million of whom are based in France. Listed on the Paris Bourse, Gaz de France forms part of the CAC40 and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 indexes. In Romania, Gaz de France is active in the distribution and sale of natural gas through its 51% stake in Distrigaz Sud, a company serving almost 1 million individual and corporate customers, notably in Bucharest. (businesswire.com)