Equinor Seen as Important Partner for Poland’s New Energy Group
Equinor ASA, the Norwegian energy major, could be an “important partner” for the power, oil and gas giant that Poland is creating from state-controlled companies, according to Daniel Obajtek, the chief executive officer of refiner PKN Orlen SA.
Poland selected Orlen, central and eastern Europe’s largest refiner, to become the consolidator of the country’s oil and gas assets. The company is set to complete its takeover of gas distributor PGNiG SA later this year after buying smaller oil industry rival Grupa Lotos SA last month. The joint company is tasked with speeding up the country’s transition into green energy.
Orlen’s acquisition of PGNiG comes as Poland is ramping up efforts to increase gas imports from Norway after it was cut off from Russian deliveries earlier this year. On Friday, the gas company said it signed a contract to buy 2.4 billion cubic meters of gas from Equinor.
PGNiG’s deal with Equinor is “key for Poland’s energy security,” Obajtek tweeted late Friday. “The Norwegian company could be an important partner for the multi-energy group that’s being created in Poland right now.”
Obajtek didn’t specify the details of Equinor’s potential role in the process. The Norwegian company is already present in the Polish offshore wind project on the Baltic Sea, together with local partner Polenergia SA.
Orlen, which is also building its own sea turbines, is considering more offshore investments as it applied for more than 10 gigawatt of licenses that are set to be awarded to various bidders by the end of the year.
Last month, Warsaw-based Puls Biznesu newspaper reported that Orlen could offer Equinor a stake in the new permits, if it gets them.
Equinor “looks forward to further developing our energy cooperation with PGNiG and Poland in the time to come,” Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing, said in a statement announcing the gas deal on Friday.
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