Thanks to a long-term EBRD loan of USD 10 million, a medium-sized, privately-owned chain of Belarus petrol stations will be able to increase its share of the country’s fuel distribution market which is at present dominated by the state-owned Belarusneft and three Russian energy majors.
The total cost of the project is estimated at USD 20 million.
The borrower of the 7-year loan is the A-100 group, which started business in 1994 and has successfully pioneered a quality-focused model that, in addition to refuelling, offers drivers convenience stores and various services ranging from currency exchanges to wireless internet connectivity.
The EBRD funding will be used to build eight new multi-service petrol stations in and around the capital, Minsk, an area which has the highest traffic and population density in the country. The A-100 chain at present consists of 21 petrol stations in Belarus.
This is the EBRD’s first investment in Belarus’s fuel sector and it is right that it should benefit a medium-sized independent operator since the main mandate of the Bank is to promote the growth of the private sector in all its countries of operations, said Francis Delaey, head of the EBRD office in Minsk.
Irina Vodolko, A-100’s director, said the EBRD loan for the group’s expansion plans would create new jobs and help raise the level of service throughout the country.