Polish oil giant aims at emission neutrality by 2050

PKN Orlen, Central and Eastern Europe’s largest petroleum group has pledged to achieve emission neutrality by 2050 and to invest more than PLN 25 billion (EUR 5.6 bln) in environmental impact mitigation projects in the coming 10 years, the company stated in a press release.

Orlen aspires to be a leader in energy transformation in the CEE and a step towards CO2 emission neutrality is a 33 percent reduction in CO2/MWh emissions from power generation and a 20 percent reduction in emissions from current petrochemical and refining assets by 2030.

The company’s emission neutrality strategy has four main elements, according to its announcement. These are: improving energy efficiency in production, zero- and low-emission power generation, the development of alternative fuels and green financing.

The company aims to implement its strategy once its planned series of energy sector takeovers have been finalised.

Over the past 12 months the oil giant has taken over electricity generator Energa, attained the EC competition regulator go-head for its takeover of local rival Lotos, and announced its intent to take over the Polish Oil and Gas group, the intent of which is to transform the company into an integrated energy group.

One of the “alternative fuels” that the company is focusing on is biofuel. PKN ORLEN also intends to strengthen its position as a regional leader in biofuels by implementing five significant investment projects in the sector including: vegetable oil based diesel, waste oil derived fuels, bioethanol made from biomass, and bio-methane. The projects are expected to increase the company’s annual biofuel output by some half a million tonnes by 2030.

In addition, the company is investing in offshore wind power, solar power and the development of hydrogen-based energy and the technology to make use of it.

Daniel Obajtek, the Chairman of Orlen was named “Man of the Year” at the 2020 Economic Forum in Karpacz, southern Poland on Wednesday.

Mr Obajtek was described as “one of the helmsmen of Polish business" and "not only a man of economic success, but also a man with a mission,” in a note from Jarosław Kaczyński read out at the awards during the forum.

In his acceptance speech the Orlen CEO emphasised the tough decisions made by the group are part of its strategy for the future “At Orlen, we make decisions and look ahead. The acquisitions we make are not to satisfy someone else's ambitions, but are very important for the entire economy," he said.

The award winner has been CEO of Orlen since February 2018, having previously been chairman of the Energa Group and head of the Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture. He holds an MBA from the Gdańsk Foundation for Management Development validated by IAE Aix-Marseille. He has also held positions in local government in Małopolska and was a key campaign manager for the Law and Justice party before the 2015 parliamentary election.