Polish politics shouldn’t stop state energy giant Orlen from developing, warns outgoing board member

Orlen is Poland’s “family silver,” regardless of who is in power, according to Janusz Szewczak

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: dorzeczy.pl
Source: orlen.pl.

The outgoing board member of energy giant Orlen, Janusz Szewczak, said he believes that it is a key Polish company and a crown jewel that should be protected from political infighting. It is a highly profitable business, with that profitability having increased by 3,000 percent during the last government.

“Any country should be proud to have such a company, which is now one of the five-fastest developing companies in the world, and is now one of the 40 largest companies in Europe and one of the 200 largest in the world,” said Szewczak. “Regardless of who will manage the company, it is supposed to exist and develop.”

Asked about the doubts being expressed by the present government’s politicians concerning the merger of Orlen with the fuel company Lotos, Szewczak said that only big companies have a future in that market and that if anything, the merger has come late in the day. He pointed to both Italy and Spain having completed such mergers and that Lotos could not have prospered on its own. 

“A straightforward refining business is no longer viable. It has to have other business pillars. If a company does not have petrochemical, gas and energy products, they cannot compete in the market,” added Szewczak.

He also pointed to the need to cope with the situation in which oil deliveries from the east have dried up and there was a need to diversify supplies fast. Thanks to the merger of Orlen and Lotos, it was able to negotiate good deals with Saudi Aramco to plug the gap.

Szewczak also pointed to the fact that Poland continued to be a majority shareholder in Lotos and advised against the temptation to pursue a vendetta against the last Law and Justice (PiS) government. He warned that any attempt to divide up the company, which already happened in the past, would only serve to devalue the company and hamper its ability to compete on the global market.

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