“The competencies of the selected partner need to fit into our long-term development plans for offshore wind energy. The talks are still taking place. We are hoping we will choose the industry partner before the end of this year,” Jarosław Dybowski, Executive Director for Energy at PKN Orlen, said in an interview with BiznesAlert.pl.
BiznesAlert.pl: Energy, next to refining and petrochemicals, is to become PKN Orlen’s third branch. Can the power generation sector be profitable in Poland?
Jarosław Dybowski: This sector is already profitable. The key question from PKN Orlen’s point of view as an investor is how this profitability will change in the future. The energy sector needs to grow, without it the economy doesn’t exist. However, not all segments in this sector will develop. PKN Orlen invests in zero- and low-emission power generation because we are convinced that this is the future of energy. Not only in Poland, but also across the world.
After taking over Energa, PKN Orlen decided to switch the Ostrołęka C power plant from coal to gas. What is the status of the talks with GE, which is the current contractor responsible for the plant? Since the project will be delayed, will PKN Orlen and Energa be able to avoid the consequences of not meeting the capacity agreement signed with PSE?
We are in technical and commercial talks on converting the coal assets to gas. The boundary conditions for the CCGT have been determined. They describe the requirements that stem from the responsibilities towards PSE.
PKN Orlen wants to develop Polish offshore wind farms and is currently in talks with relevant partners. Reportedly there are ten. When will Orlen’s partner be revealed? Why are the talks taking longer than expected?
The construction of an offshore wind farm is a very complicated and expensive endeavor, which is why we want to choose the investor very carefully. We have received attractive offers and we want to be sure that our partner will have the experience and know-how to provide us with the desired support during the entire investment process. We are taking about extensive cooperation, so the competencies of the selected partner need to fit into our long-term development plans for offshore wind energy. The talks are still taking place. We are hoping we will choose the industry partner before the end of this year.
We are racing against time because of the adoption of the offshore act. Is this topic being discussed with the investor?
The process of choosing the partner pertains to long-term plans for developing offshore wind energy, so the talks with potential partners are very extensive and comprehensive. Just like other developers and the entire sector, we are hoping the act will be adopted soon.
After the wind farm in Przykona was opened, PKN Orlen and Energa announced other renewable energy (RES) projects, including acquisitions. Should we expect other take-overs of RES projects as early as this year? Are you considering PV as well?
PKN Orlen and Energa are expanding their RES generation portfolio, especially when it comes to wind and PV in line with the existing market trends and the ongoing changes in the macro-economic environment. We are pursuing this goal both through acquisitions and development of own projects. This is a long-term process, in which we are focusing on choosing the best available market possibilities, not just on closing a given transaction. Thus, the deadlines for implementing the projects depend on the phases of their financing, the pace of proceedings and other external conditions. We expect that in the coming quarters and years, the RES generation portfolio of PKN Orlen and Energa will be expanding regularly.
Interview by Bartłomiej Sawicki