In an interview for agerpres.ro, Radu Dumitru, Director of the National Mineral Waters Company (SNAM), shared very important bits of information concerning this special resource – mineral water. He pointed out that Romania’s mineral water reserves are very large, representing around 60 per cent of Europe’s total reserves. Around 70 per cent of the quantity available in Romania is being extracted. In other words, Romania can cover its mineral water needs around the clock for 25 years, with mineral water of very good quality. Apart from the wells that are already in use, 10 blocks are currently being explored.
Nevertheless, this more than plentiful resource registers very small exports. Radu Dumitru states that currently only several companies are bottling mineral water for export too.
The export volume stands in the ballpark of 3-4 per cent of the volume of sales, approximately 2 million cubic metres of mineral water, which is a very low amount compared to what is sold at national level. In what concerns the National Mineral Waters Company’s strategy, many overtures have been made at government level in order for it to export mineral water. There is high demand, for instance on the markets in China and Qatar, countries that show a lot of interest in buying water from Romania. Romania’s export potential is very high. Work is being done on the form of export, on the form in which the state-owned company would sell the water. SNAM is in advanced negotiations with an investment fund from Lebanon, which wants to import 100,000 cubic metres of water per month. The quantity is high, and the talks are currently focusing on the ways of exporting it.
Until now, SNAM has dealt solely with the tapping of mineral water and its sale to bottling companies. It has not bottled mineral water, it does not have its own bottling plants. There is the intention to buy plants on the free market, based on the potential of a given well, and for the state to bottle the water. There is a plan for SNAM to have its own bottling plants in 2016 and to be able to export too.