Poland’s biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen expects to invest around 140 billion zlotys ($37.45 billion) over the next ten years as it shifts to clean energy sources rather than oil refining, it said in its strategy update on Monday.
The company said in September that it plans to become climate neutral in the next 30 years, although Poland is the only European Union state which has not pledged to cut emissions to zero by 2050.
“We are preparing for changes, especially that oil refining will be becoming less significant,” PKN Orlen Chief Executive Daniel Obajtek said, adding that renewable energy sources and petrochemicals will be major drivers of the group’s core profit (EBITDA).
He added that he expects traditional crude oil refining in Poland to continue for the next 10-15 years.
“We have to squeeze out what we can from the old segments,” Obajtek said.
The collapse in oil demand from the COVID-19 pandemic is hastening the reckoning for those refiners already struggling as new capacity overtakes demand, posing an existential threat to many, particularly Europe’s ageing plants.