There have been changes in the Supervisory Board of PGE EJ1. The people involved in the nuclear project have gone away and new ones have entered. It is difficult to determine what this means, but at least two explanations can be found – writes Wicket Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
Changes in PGE EJ1
Józef Sobolewski, Director of the Department of Nuclear Energy in the Ministry of Energy, and Grzegorz Wrochna, Professor of the National Centre for Nuclear Research, were dismissed from the Supervisory Board of the company, which was to be responsible for the construction of the nuclear power plant in accordance with the Polish Nuclear Energy Programme. Katarzyna Zaborowska from the Polish Energy Group became the chair of the Board. She was joined by Agnieszka Szczukiewicz from PGE Obrót and Grzegorz Banaś, former Senator of Law and Justice, and now a United Poland activist.
Following the Polish Prime Minister’s change to Mateusz Morawiecki, there have already been changes in the supervisory boards of several state-owned companies. The staff of the Enea and Energa Board has changed. However, the changes in PGE EJ1 have a greater gravity than the usual share of the spoils based on a new balance in the government. The resignation of one of the founding fathers of the Polish nuclear project from the Ministry of Energy and NCBJ can be explained in two ways.
A new company or death
The change may mean that the Polish Energy Group does not want to build a nuclear power plant, which can be derived from the pessimistic statement of Monika Morawiecka who is responsible for the company’s strategy. She admitted that PGE is not sure about the future of nuclear power and is looking for alternatives, as BiznesAlert.pl informed. – We are preparing to take key decisions in which direction new capacities will be developed. Will they include surface mining, wind turbines on the Baltic Sea or a nuclear power plant? Today, we do not yet know the answer to this question, but preparatory works are being conducted in each of these projects – says Henryk Baranowski, the CEO of PGE, to Gazeta Bankowa. Does the change in the Supervisory Board mean that the decision on the nuclear power plant has already been made?
The explanation may be different. The government representatives argued that the new model of financing a nuclear power plant in Poland, which has been promised for several months, would force the creation of a new special purpose vehicle. This would mean that Sobolewski and Wrochna would be needed there and would need to be removed from PGE EJ1, and the company itself should be dedicated to other purposes or dissolved. However, it is unknown whether and when a new entity would be created, and it is unknown who would become its shareholder. Can we expect a new nuclear power company to be created within days?
Formally, Poland continues to implement the old Polish Nuclear Power Programme. Indeed, the government is waiting with the final decision to revise the Polish Nuclear Power Programme, which is to be decided by the energy strategy announced already for the end of last year and this year, and now promised for January 2018. In an interview for BiznesAlert.pl, Director Sobolewski assures that if the decision is made in the near future Poland will be able to build a nuclear power plant, as declared, until 2031, when the facility will be needed to meet the climate policy standards. We are running out of time. It’s time for a conclusive signal.