Olechnowicz: The merger of Orlen with Lotos will reduce Poland’s energy security

Luc Williams

“This is a reduction in the country’s energy security, there is no doubt about it. Saudi Aramco has the right to dispose of 50 percent. fuels produced in Gdańsk Refinery. He can sell them outside Poland. Also in Russia,” he told PAP Olechnowicz.

NIK reveals its cards regarding the merger

Lotos’ assets were sold with consent European Commission as part of remedial measures to ensure competitiveness on the Polish and European markets. Saudi Aramco bought 30 percent. shares of the Gdańsk Refinery. Hungarian MOTH took over 417 gas stations of the chain Lotus in Poland, however Orlen – 185 stations per Hungary and Slovakia. Company Unimot nine fuel terminals were sold, a Rossi Biofuel – 100 percent shares in Lotos Biofuels.

In the evaluation NIK The merger of Orlen and Lotos caused “significant risks” to Poland’s fuel security. The Saudis were also given the right to veto strategic decisions. On the other hand Treasury lost control of 20 percent. refinery products produced in Poland – the Chamber indicated in its report.

“This should be the subject of a deep economic and legal analysis. Then the issue of price will be clarified and a classification will be made, whether it is mismanagement, abuse or anything else. However, what interests me most is why people elected by citizens’ votes decided to liquidate one of the best companies from the economic map Poland,” Olechnowicz emphasized.

According to the Supreme Audit Office, Lotos’ assets were sold at an underpriced price by at least PLN 5 billion. According to the Chamber, PKN Orlen carried out the process of taking over Grupa Lotos without proper supervision Minister of State Assets. NIK found that the Minister of Assets, when submitting an application to the Council of Ministers for consent to the transaction, did not have full knowledge of the effects of the merger and its impact on the security of critical infrastructure covered by remedial measures.

Daniel Obajtek had too strong a position

“Because the president of Orlen Daniel Obajtek had a high position in Law and Justice, I suspect that individual ministries did not maintain adequate vigilance and control over what was happening in the company,” Olechnowicz said.

NIK auditors were not allowed to access the documents held by Orlen. While working on the report, they analyzed information available at the Ministry of State Assets and Ministry of Climate and Environment.

The investigation into the case is ongoing

Investigation into the sale of 30 percent shares in the Saudi Aramco Gdańsk Refinery are managed by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Płock. She submitted a notification in this regard Agnieszka PomaskaMP Civic Coalition.

“An investigation was initiated into the abuse of powers and failure to fulfill duties by members of the management board of PKN Orlen, as well as other persons dealing with the property matters of this company, in connection with conducting negotiations, setting conditions and signing agreements regarding the merger of PKN Orlen with Grupa Lotos in Gdańsk, and then signing agreements related to the sale of shares to Saudi Aramco, which caused significant damage to PKN Orlen in the amount of no less than PLN 4 billion,” PAP reported. prosecutor Iwona Śmigielska-Kowalskaspokeswoman of the Płock district prosecutor’s office.

The company signed a letter of intent regarding the commencement of the process of taking over capital control over Lotos by Orlen in February 2018 with Ministry of Energy. In June 2022, Orlen received consent from the European Commission to carry out the merger. The consent of the shareholders of Orlen and Lotos was also required regarding the terms of the merger, which was issued in July 2022. The final decision was made in August 2022.

Orlen itself rejects the Supreme Audit Office’s findings as worthless, prepared using an incorrect methodology, using data that has nothing to do with the actual situation. (PAP)

Author: Patryk Osadnik


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