Ploiești (Romanian pronunciation: [ploˈjeʃtʲ]; older spelling: Ploești) is the county seat of Prahova County and lies in the historical region of Wallachia in Romania. The city is located 56 km (35 mi) north of Bucharest. According to the 2011 Romanian census, there were 197,542 people living within the city of Ploiești, making it the 9th most populous city in Romania.
Ploieşti is a strong industrial center, focused especially on the oil production and refining industry. Although oil production in the region is declining steadily, there is still a thriving processing industry through four operating oil refineries, linked by pipelines to Bucharest, the Black Sea port of Constanţa and the Danube port of Giurgiu. Ploieşti is also a textile manufacturing center. Ploieşti concentrates many foreign investments: OMV–Petrom, Lukoil, Shell Gas, Timken, Yazaki, Coca Cola, Efes Pilsener, British American Tobacco, Interbrew. Many retailers like Carrefour, Metro, Selgros, Kaufland, Billa, Bricostore, Praktiker, Lidl, Obi, Real, Intermarche, Profi, Mega Image found in Ploieşti a continuously growing market. In Ploieşti can also be found two McDonald’s restaurants, and only one KFCrestaurant opened in 2006.
The German retailer Tengelmann expects to have some 30 stores this year and has set itself a target of 120 stores by 2010, investing €200 million. To facilitate its growth, Tengelmann built a depot in Ploieşti. With its Interex operation, the French independent retailer Intermarché intends to become a distribution leader in the Balkans. In Romania the first Interex store was opened in June 2002 in the city of Ploieşti.
Unilever has a detergent plant in Ploieşti. By transferring their food production to Ploieşti, the company will concentrate their full activity in Romania to the same location. At the beginning of March 2006, Unilever announced they would invest EUR 3 million to build one production center in Romania, and the construction of the new food plant is part of this plan.
At Ploieşti, as a milestone in the development of the petroleum, hydrocarbon processing and petrochemical industries as well as of their related fields, was established in 1950, the Engineering and Design Institute for Oil Refineries and Petrochemical Plants, SC IPIP SA, a Romanian company with a large range of capabilities and experience.