By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 17 -- OMV Yugoslavija DOO, a unit of Austria's OMV AG, has opened two retail service stations in Yugoslavia, claiming to be the first western European oil and gas firm to enter that country's retail service station market. The two OMV retail stations—Lapovo North and Lapovo South—are currently the largest stations in the Balkan, OMV said, each costing 1.5 million euros to build. The stations are on the Belgrade-Nis highway, about 100 km south of Belgrade.
The stations feature advanced technologies, including double-walled pipe systems and fuel storage tanks, gaseous emissions recirculating systems, and a leak-monitoring system. Presently, there are about 1,200 service stations in Yugoslavia, 480 of which are operated by Jugo Petrol-NAP and 204 by Beopetrol; smaller firms operate the remaining stations.
Gerhard Roiss, OMV deputy chairman, said, "The Yugoslavian market has a large growth potential," adding that the company plans to open a total of 14 retail stations by yearend. "By 2007 OMV plans to be operating about 100 service stations with a market share of 10%," Roiss said.
OMV said that its expansion into the Yugoslavian retail market would be concentrated around the Danube corridor, from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.