Polish Briefing 19 July, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Increased fuel fee withdrawn. Poland may not receive EU money

What goes on in Poland on the 19th of July

Only beneficial contracts with the US

“We are very welcoming towards our American partners, whom we can seriously help by opening to them our gas market,” announced Piotr Woźniak, PGNiG’s CEO told the Polish Press Agency. He also added that such a contract had to be beneficial to PGNiG.

When commenting on the possible future contract for US LNG, Woźniak admitted that the company was approaching long-term contracts with extreme caution.

However, he also added that “we are very welcoming towards our American partners, whom we can seriously help by opening to them our gas market,”

During his visit to Warsaw, President Donald Trump declared that the US was ready to help Poland and other European countries to diversify their energy providers. The Polish President, Andrzej Duda said, among others, that both countries were determined to pursue cooperation regarding LNG.

Increased fuel fee withdrawn 

“A decision on withdrawing the project of the Act on Fund for Local Roads has been made,” announced the chairman of the Law and Justice party (PiS), Jarosław Kaczyński. One of the project’s ideas was to introduce a new fuel fee.

“A decision on withdrawing the fuel act has been made. We will be looking for other methods to acquire the funds needed for the construction. Most definitely we will not reach into the pockets of citizens,” said PiS’s chairman.

On Monday afternoon the Law and Justice party met at their office on Nowogrodzka Street. The meeting was attended by Beata Szydło, the Prime Minister, Marek Kuchciński, Speaker of the Sejm and Stanisław Karczewski, the Speaker of the Senate, Piotr Gliński, Vice-President and Minister of Culture, Ryszard Terlecki, Vice-Speaker of the Sejm and head of the PiS parliamentary club and Joachim Brudziński, head of PiS’s Executive Committee.

Poland may not receive EU money

European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska is concerned that after 2021 “the funds for Poland will be smaller.” She thinks that the decision on how much Poland will receive in the new financial perspective will be made next year.

Commissioner Bieńkowska admitted during a press conference on Monday in the town of Słupsk, that she was “afraid that after 2021 the funds for Poland will be a lot smaller.”

She said that it will be known next year how much EU money Poland will receive. “These talks are only beginning right now,” she explained.

“However, I can all tell you what I have been talking about for a few months now and what we are hearing from all institutions in Brussels. The way Poland is currently perceived and what is happening in Poland will definitely impact the future budget,” Bieńkowska said in Słupsk.

PGNiG is investing in innovations 

PGNiG is planning to invest PLN 680 million of its own funds in research and development by 2022.

“We want to deal with start-ups from four areas enumerated in the strategy of the PGNiG Capital Group, those include: exploration and production, distribution (our subsidiary operates a distribution network that is 170 thousand km long, it’s easy to imagine that its management requires state of the art data analysis methods, i.e. Big Data) and generation (we are investing in heat and power generation). Last but not least, the fourth bit is trade, both retail and wholesale,” explained to the Interia portal Piotr Woźniak, PGNiG’s CEO.

A while ago, the company opened the Invento incubator because, according to Woźniak, a limited approach to innovations was insufficient. “Western companies are better than us. It is not enough to peek and copy. We need fresh ideas. We have to seriously think about the future and use outside leverage,” said the CEO. Currently two companies are working as part of the incubator. Recruitment is now open. Fifty companies applied in the first round and 17 went on to the next stage.