Energy 22 May, 2023 7:35 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: Saudi fuel for Ukraine via Poland? I Europe’s biggest battery factory in Gdańsk I Chinese envoy talks Ukraine in Warsaw

Wolodymyr-Zelenski-w-Davos Volodymyr Zelensky in Davos. Picture by YouTube.

Zlensky’s visit to Saudi Arabia a chance to revive old Polish oil pipe project?

Ukraine needs quickly ready fuel for the counteroffensive against Russia. President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Riyadh, while Poland and Ukraine will discuss the Odessa-Brody-Gdańsk oil pipe project updated to a version where both crude and fuel will be transmitted.

The Russians have destroyed Ukraine’s refining sector with systematic attacks on energy infrastructure in the invasion that has lasted since February 2022. Therefore, the Ukrainian war machine needs ready-made fuel, because there is nowhere to process oil. It brings it via various routes, including through Poland. However, it may need a more optimal solution.

For this reason, the Odessa-Brody-Gdańsk oil pipeline is back on the table. The original plan dates back to the early 2000’s when the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński was to allow the import of Caspian oil to Poland. This connection from the Naftoport in Ukraine’s Odessa to the Gdańsk refinery could work in the opposite direction – from Poland to Ukraine. After the Russian invasion, this concept may evolve further, into a plan to build a fuel pipeline, of which was first to report. has learned from people involved in the oil and fuel cooperation between Poland and Ukraine that that there is a possibility to add a third line to the Odessa-Brody-Gdańsk oil pipeline that will transmit fuel. The challenge is to raise funds for such a project.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky set off to Jeddah to talk with Saudi Arabia, among other things, about energy cooperation. The Saudis from Saudi Aramco currently provide Poland with more than 40 percent of its oil demand. They also deliver ready-made fuel to the region through the Polish Naftoport. They could also team up with PKN Orlen to send the fuel to Ukraine. After the war, it would also be possible to trade in oil in case of reconstruction of refineries on the Dnieper, in which Poles could also potentially be involved.

Northvolt completes construction of Europe’s largest energy storage plant in Gdańsk

Northvolt, a European supplier of environmentally sustainable cells and battery systems, has completed the construction of Europe’s largest energy storage factory. The construction of the plant began at the end of 2021 on the territory of the Pomeranian Investment Center in Gdańsk.

The Swedish company is preparing to start production at the end of the year. Eventually, 500 people will work in the factory.

The factory will manufacture stationary and mobile energy storage units as well as battery systems for the industry and construction sector. The key customers of the Northvolt branch in Poland include Fluence (a company owned by Siemens), the manufacturer of mining machines Epiroc, and the manufacturer of construction equipment Pon Equipment. Energy storage is an important element of the energy transition, which consists in increasing the use of RES in favor of moving away from burning fossil fuels.

“The Northvolt plant is powered by electricity from renewable sources only. This fits into our business model, which assumes the use of only green energy in all factories located in Poland, Sweden and Germany and the use of recycled materials,” says Robert Chryc-Gawrychowski, President of the Northvolt branch in Poland.

The completion of the construction is an important milestone in the development of Northvolt in Poland. However, this is not the end of the work, which will now consist of the installation of production lines and the installation of equipment for laboratories, offices and social rooms. The company, which has been operating in Gdańsk since 2018, also plans to move production machines and its teams from two leased locations. The start of production is planned for the end of the year, and then the official opening of the factory will also take place.

Northvolt is a European supplier of high-quality cells and battery systems, manufactured in an environmentally sustainable manner. The company was founded in 2016 with the mission to build the world’s greenest battery with the lowest carbon footprint and highest recycling rates to ensure Europe’s transformation towards a decarbonised future.

The company has more than 4,500 employees of 110 different nationalities. To date, Northvolt has won contracts worth more than USD 55 billion from key clients such as BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar, which will allow the company to implement plans that include battery recycling and the use of raw materials, of which 50 percent will come from recycling in 2030.

Property News / Jacek Perzyński

Chinese envoy in Warsaw

The deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wojciech Gerwel met on Friday in Warsaw with the Chinese government’s special envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui – said the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is worth noting that earlier Hui had visited Kyiv, where he talked about the possibility of starting peace negotiations. Poland is one of Li Hui’s stops in Europe. He will also visit France, Germany and Russia.

“Poland is concerned about Beijing’s declarations of striving to strengthen bilateral relations with Russia,” the Polish Foreign Ministry said after the meeting. During the talks, Deputy Minister Wojciech Gerwel, positively commented on the recently opened dialogue between China and Ukraine.

The Chinese diplomat – as reported by the Polish Foreign Ministry-noted that the situation in Ukraine did not serve anyone’s interests.

Ambassador Li declared China’s strong opposition to the use of nuclear weapons, pointing out the importance China attaches to nuclear security and maintaining the mandate of international organizations.

Polish Press Agency / Jacek Perzyński