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Gas stations: A shift towards green

26 March 2024
Bogdan Tudorache

Gabor Mozga is the new CEO of MOL Romania. He has been in charge, during the past years, of the MOL Poland’s operations, the largest market where MOL Group operates, being responsible for integrating Lotos’ local gas and service stations network into MOL’s. He says that the gas station of the future would not only be about gas: “In Romania, we have installed charging stations for electric vehicles at 41 of our service stations, capable of serving 96 electric vehicles at the same time. We plan to extend it. We have started to equip our network of service stations with photovoltaic panels, and in the coming years we intend to develop this project further. With the second phase of the programme, we aim to generate more than 500 MW of green energy annually,” he tells Energynomics. “We intend to invest over USD 4 billion in green projects at Group level.”


You have been integrating Lotos network into MOL’s network during the past years. What have been the main challenges and accomplishments in integrating Lotos? Which were the main KPIs achieved in 2023?

It’s been more than a year now that MOL Group has entered Poland, which is the biggest market where we operate as a retailer so far. We acquired more than 410 service stations and hence became an outstanding player in this country. Being at the heart of the team which oversaw the integration of the Lotos network into MOL’s network was a unique experience and fresh challenge presented by the scale of this market. Our primary goal was to integrate our international standards with Lotos local expertise, a process that takes time and careful calibration. Our evolution on the local market was good, as we reached important milestones during the first year of activity on the local market. I would say that some of the most important achievements refer to the fact that we surpassed the threshold of 200 rebranded stations, and we enrolled over 1,000,0000 registered members of our loyalty program – MOL MOVE, the one we just launched in Romania as well.

MOL’s objective is to emerge as the preferred option for Polish customers, offering top-quality EVO fuels, premium coffee, freshly prepared hot dogs, sandwiches, all infused with innovations aligned with customer expectations and trends. Given the strong team and assets owned by the Group there, I believe that MOL Polska holds all the advantages which will ensure further sustainable development. Last but not least: our company has gained further operational experience that is for the better of every operation, including MOL Romania.

The scale of this project, as the largest market for MOL Group, offered a unique learning opportunity, allowing for a deep dive into understanding customer demands and needs. It taught extensively about how to effectively tailor offerings to meet local market demands. These insights were invaluable, and I plan to apply the lessons learned to the Romanian market.


How would you characterize the Polish fuel market, versus Hungary or even Romania’s? What are the main characteristics and differences?

As I said, Poland is the largest market in which MOL Group operates, we had to build up our brand basically from scratch. We are in the process of discovering synergies and new ways to enhance our relationships in this market. Thus, in Poland we focused mainly on building a trust-base relationship and on raising awareness of our brand and services, and our primary goal was to integrate our international standards with the Lotos local expertise. On the other hand, in Romania and in Hungary we already have a proven track record of being a reliable partner, committed to ensuring the energy security. In Romania we also have strong traditional community responsibility initiatives, such as Green Belt, currently in its 18th edition – a project that strives to foster a stronger connection between communities and the environment, while also educating young individuals about their influence on nature.

As for the quality of our products, there is no difference. We sell the same high-quality products in each of the markets in which we activate, thus all our consumers expect and enjoy the same high quality of our MOL EVO premium fuels. Our new fuels offer a complex triple effect: enhanced performance, extended engine life and lower emission, thanks to a higher level of additives. Therefore, in this regard, I am confident that all our clients across the markets where we operate are very satisfied with our products. Of course, there are some differences in terms of sales, but they are directly correlated with the population of the countries.

We strive to cultivate a deep understanding of our B2B clients’ needs, which is why we continually develop tools that can help them become more efficient. One notable difference between the Romanian and Polish markets, in this respect, is the introduction of MOL MASTER fuel, a product specifically designed for the B2B customer segment.

Recently launched in the Romanian market, MOL MASTER is crafted to meet the demands of businesses active in industries such as agriculture, construction, and transport. This new product is the culmination of decades of expertise, during which we have honed a product that not only meets but exceeds average quality standards. It contributes to enhancing equipment performance by offering a cleaning effect and reducing friction force.

At the same time, I would like to stress that our ambition is the same for all the markets where we activate: to build a long-lasting presence and to play an important role within the economy of each market, while remaining true to our goal of developing our business in a sustainable way, caring for the environment and for the communities we serve.


 We see oil&gas companies worldwide shifting towards green projects and electrification. What can you tell me about investments in green projects done so far in Poland and about electrification? How do you find Romanian network, in comparison with the Polish one?

 MOL is already prepared for the future, as the station networks will still be needed, although they will be less and less fuel stations, at least in the traditional sense. We currently have approximately 250 chargers in the entire network of MOL Group (with power ranging from 50 kW to 150 kW), and we want to increase this number to 500 by the end of 2025, planning to add 350 kW chargers, as well. Simultaneously, in Romania, we have installed charging stations for electric vehicles at 41 of our service stations, capable of serving 96 electric vehicles at the same time. We plan to further expand this network.

However, our network of EV chargers is only a small part of what we do operate in a green way. We have a long-term development strategy and every year we make progress towards our goals. In this regard, I would also like to highlight a programme that we have started in Romania at the end of 2022, after the completion of the inauguration of the newest stations. Through this initiative, we have started to equip our network of service stations with photovoltaic panels, and in the coming years we intend to develop this project further. With the second phase of the programme, we aim to generate more than 500 MW of green energy annually, and in the coming years we want to expand this project in the grid. Thus, we will remain very active in this area as well, seeking to remain ahead the needs of our consumers, while evolving towards a net zero footprint.


We also see a lot of industrialists voicing concerns about the competitivity with non-EU companies when it comes to accelerating energy transition. What can be expected? Can we see gas still accepted also after 2030 as a transition fuel, or even as a main source for hydrogen?

 Europe is at a turning point, as the energy transition overlaps with the political tensions generated by the ongoing armed conflicts, so any steps towards successfully replacing a source of energy should be carried on with prudence – and not abruptly, but in a reasonable timeframe. However, I would also like to stress that a successful energy transition process can only be achieved if the regulatory framework fosters our competitive edge. This holds especially true for a corporate entity like MOL, which, in addition to aligning with the EU’s green objectives, plays a vital role in ensuring the energy security of the region. In the current context, MOL Group is dedicated to becoming a key player in the circular economy of the Central and Eastern European region and expediting the green energy transition through strategic investments.


What is your view on hydrogen development in Poland in general and hydrogen-based storage in particular? How do you see the development of car industry as regarding its main fuel for the future?

 Hydrogen is not only a crucial energy source we are currently utilizing in the midst of the energy transition, but it is also an essential component of the new carbon-free energy system. At MOL Group, we have moved one step closer to achieving energy independence, having already begun producing green hydrogen in Százhalombatta, Hungary.

We recognize the significant potential and have a robust investment plan in place that could position us as key players in a sustainable regional energy economy. In the latest update of our green transformation strategy which has been published just a few days ago, we plan to invest more than 4 billion USD in green projects.


Is MOL interested in acquiring Lukoil’s or other Romanian gas fuel network?

MOL Romania is in a position with many opportunities ahead, and we are dedicated to investing in growth initiatives that serve the interests of both our B2B and B2C clients. Simultaneously, we are exploring both organic and inorganic development opportunities, and we will certainly do our utmost to advance those that present synergies.






This interview first appeared in the printed edition of Energynomics Magazine, issued in March 2024.

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Autor: Bogdan Tudorache

Active in the economic and business press for the past 26 years, Bogdan graduated Law and then attended intensive courses in Economics and Business English. He went up to the position of editor-in-chief since 2006 and has provided management and editorial policy for numerous economic publications dedicated especially to the community of foreign investors in Romania. From 2003 to 2013 he was active mainly in the financial-banking sector. He started freelancing for Energynomics in 2013, notable for his advanced knowledge of markets, business communities and a mature editorial style, both in Romanian and English.

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