Energy 25 May, 2023 7:30 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: Orlen’s windfall tax problem in Czechia I Sejm to back Ukraine’s NATO efforts I PGE reveals Q1 results

Mateusz-Morawiecki-Peter-Fiala-1536×1023 Mateusz Morawiecki and Peter Fiala. Picture by the Prime Minister's Office.

Orlen argues over windfall tax, while Czechs will get oil from Italy

PKN Orlen is in a dispute with Czechia over the windfall tax, and the Czechs are tapping into non-Russian oil from… Italy, and they don’t even have to build a new oil pipe.

Mateusz Morawiecki and Peter Fiala. Picture by the Prime Minister’s Office.

PKN Orlen has criticized the plan to impose a windfall tax on excess income in the Czech Republic, proposing, among other things, bringing gas and oil from Poland to the south. The Czechs, however, are tapping into oil from Italy and already have an agreement on this.

“One of the factors that determine our investment decisions are regulatory issues. More often than not, we cannot invest where the tax law stifles our investment processes,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of PKN Orlen as quoted by during his visit to Prague on May 23. Talks with the Czech Republic are ongoing, also with the participation of the Minister of State Assets Jack Sasin.

The TAL+ project announced by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala during his visit to the oil transmission network operator MERO involves increasing the capacity of the existing TAL oil pipeline by supplying and replacing parts of pumps and engines used in its operation. The transalpine oil pipeline TAL (capacity 43 million tons per year) connects with Ingolstadt-Kralupy-Litvinov (IKL) with a capacity of 11 million tons per year.

Fiala announced the signing of the MERO agreement with TAL shareholders on the implementation of the TAL+project. This is the result of talks between the Czech Prime Minister and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni on May 11 on which reported. The Czechs and Slovaks continue talks on gas supplies from outside Russia through Poland, as first reported by our portal. Prague has already used the Gasunie LNG terminal in the Netherlands in July 2022.

Wojciech Jakóbik

The Sejm wants to support Ukrainian efforts to join NATO

Poland wants to support Ukrainian efforts to join the North Atlantic Alliance. The Sejm, which is the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, is to pass a sepcial act that will help do that.

“Ukraine is on a good path to joining the European Union, we will work on a resolution that will support Ukraine on the issue of NATO membership,” said Sejm speaker Elżbieta Witek. “We expect that Polish companies will also participate in the reconstruction of Ukraine,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Stefanczuk, who began his visit to Poland on Wednesday, met with Speaker of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek. “A free, independent and secure Ukraine is also a free, independent and secure Poland and the whole of Europe,” Witek stressed after the meeting. She said that one of the topics discussed with Stefanczuk was the 11th package of sanctions against Russia.

She also stressed the involvement of Polish deputies in supporting Ukraine within the framework of the Polish-Ukrainian friendship group. She noted that she was grateful to the Chairman of the Ukrainian parliament for “appreciating the role of Poland in helping Ukraine.” “We will stand by Ukraine, because we perfectly understand what danger Russia poses and we are well aware that Putin will not stop in Ukraine,” said the Speaker of the Sejm. “We understand Russia is trying to rebuild its imperialist position, we can not allow this,” she added. She also assured that all resolutions on support for Ukraine are taken in the Polish Sejm “above political divisions”.

Ruslan Stefanczuk said that he had come to Warsaw to “thank Mrs Elżbieta for her activity and leadership”, as well as the Polish parliament for its actions in support of Ukraine.

The Chairman added that the conversation with Witek also concerned the future and reconstruction of Ukraine. “As for the reconstruction of Ukraine, we expect all the best companies, including Polish ones, to participate in this reconstruction. Poland has done a lot for our future victory,” said Stefanczuk.

Elżbieta Witek was invited to the International Meeting of the Crimean Platform, which will be held this year in Prague. / Bartosz Siemieniuk

PGE reveals Q1 results. Investment spending up by 60 percent.

Polska Grupa Energetyczna has published its results after the first quarter of 2023. The company spent 60 percent more money on investments than a year earlier.

“These are our results for the first quarter of 2023. The results are good, for which I thank all the staff. The net profit is PLN 1.7 billion, the earned funds will be transferred to future investments. The construction of a modern energy industry, taking into account the costs of CO2 emissions, requires financial investments in order to meet the expectations of customers in the future,” said Wojciech Dąbrowski, president of PGE, during the conference.

PGE reports that the highest recurring EBITDA result was achieved in the distribution segment: PLN 1.27 billion (against PLN 0.80 billion in the first quarter of 2022), but this result includes a non-cash effect of revaluation of the cost of the balance sheet difference (approx. PLN 570 million), at the same time reducing the result of the Turnover segment. As a result, recurring EBITDA of the Turnover segment amounted to PLN -0.34 billion (loss), compared to PLN 0.50 billion in the same period last year.

Recurring EBITDA of the Conventional Energy segment amounted to PLN 0.91 billion compared to PLN 0.44 billion in the first quarter of 2022. The increase was mainly driven by higher revenues from Regulatory System Services and the Capacity Market.

The District Heating segment recorded recurring EBITDA of PLN 0.92 billion, which is a significant increase compared to the first quarter of 2022, when it amounted only to PLN 0.20 billion as a result of not covering the rising costs of CO2 and fuels in heating tariffs.

Recurring EBITDA of the Renewable Energy segment amounted to PLN 0.44 billion compared to PLN 0.50 billion in the first quarter of last year, and the decrease was due to write-offs to the Price Difference Payment Fund.

The level of PGE’s net economic financial debt (including future payments for CO2 emission allowances) amounted to PLN 13.8 billion, a decrease by PLN 0.6 billion compared to the end of 2022.

Net electricity production in the first quarter of 2023 at the PGE Group’s generation units amounted to 15.7 TWh and was 9 percent lower than production in the first quarter of 2022. The distribution volume was 9.5 TWh (down by three percent year – on-year). The volume of electricity sales to final off-takers decreased by 3 percent year-on-year and reached 8.9 TWh. The volume of heat sales amounted to 20.2 PJ, which means a decrease of five percent compared to the same period in 2022.

The average cost of CO2 emissions in the conventional energy and heating segments amounted to PLN 406.6 / MWh, an increase of 48 percent compared to the same period in 2022. The average wholesale price of energy realized by the conventional energy and heating segments in the first quarter of 2023 (including the write-off for the price difference payment fund) amounted to PLN 771.6/MWh and was higher by approximately PLN 328/MWh compared to the first quarter of 2022.

Polska Grupa Energetyczna / Jędrzej Stachura