Replacement for Russian pipeline
Poland agrees to supply oil to the Schwedt refinery
December 1st, 2022, 7:30 p.m
The federal government has been urging Poland for months to supply the PCK refinery in Schwedt in order to secure the site despite not using Russian oil. Warsaw is now giving in. It wants to send deliveries to Schwedt via Gdansk, but sets conditions.
In an agreement with the federal government, Poland has for the first time promised crude oil deliveries via Danzig to the PCK refinery in Schwedt, Brandenburg. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck signed a corresponding declaration of intent with the Polish Environment Minister Anna Moskwa. However, there are no specific amounts in the paper. These are now to be negotiated, according to government circles in Berlin.
Schwedt is currently under German trusteeship, but continues to belong to the Russian state-owned company Rosneft. In order to adequately utilize Schwedt, one is dependent on deliveries via the Polish port of Gdansk and the pipeline system there. Germany has therefore been negotiating with the Polish side for months.
To date, the PCK has been supplied with Russian oil from the Druzhba pipeline. But the federal government wants to stop this on January 1st and is urgently looking for alternatives. Since the volume of a pipeline from Rostock to Schwedt is not sufficient, additional quantities are required. The federal government has been working for months to persuade Poland to make deliveries to Schwedt via Gdansk.
According to insiders from both countries, Poland put Germany under pressure and also suggested expropriating the Russian owner Rosneft. The joint statement states that both countries must ensure that neither Russia nor any company controlled by it can “directly” benefit from the joint actions.
Rosneft holds 54 percent of the shares
The background is the interest of the Polish group Orlen in investing in Schwedt. As a first step, Rosneft would then have to give up its Schwedt stake, for example through expropriation by the German state. Rosneft currently holds a good 54 percent of the shares, Shell is the second largest owner with a good 37 percent. Shell has long wanted to withdraw from the refinery. Verbio and Enertrag, both from the renewable energy sector, had expressed an interest. They want to give Schwedt a perspective if oil is dispensed with for climate protection reasons.
Kazakh oil for Schwedt is also under discussion. “By signing the declaration, both sides want to ensure the operation of the Polish refineries in Danzig and Plock and the German refineries in Schwedt and Leuna and their supply of sufficient quantities of crude oil,” said Habeck.
Polish Minister Moskva is quoted as saying: “This statement reaffirms our common will to work together to optimize the conditions for oil supplies for Polish and German refineries connected to the Polish pipeline network. It contributes to the optimization of the conditions for fuel deliveries to customers in both countries.”