Poland: Orlen CEO appeals to Polish president to stop new parliamentary majority’s energy levy

Head of Poland's energy giant Orlen, Daniel Obajtek speaks in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, April 17, 2023, during a news conference announcing plans for some $4 billion in U.S. financing for the development of small nuclear power reactors in Poland, which is turning toward renewable, no-emissions energy. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The CEO of energy giant Orlen, Daniel Obajtek, has appealed to President Andrzej Duda to consider stopping the energy price freeze levy planned by the new parliamentary majority, as he believes it to be detrimental to Orlen and Polish energy security

In Obajtek‘s letter, he accused the new parliamentary majority of deliberately reducing the market value of the company he runs. He has asked the head of state to analyze the “unfavorable changes proposed,” which he believes will be “damaging to the development of the company, the Polish economy and Poland’s energy security.”

Obajtek also warns that, should the proposed legislation to introduce a levy of around 15 billion zlotys (€3.5 billion) be implemented, Orlen will not be able to function at the scale it is currently operating and will have to cut investments that include key energy transformation projects for the development of renewable energy. 

He also considers the proposal highly prejudicial to his company, as it is only Orlen that will have its profits hit by such a tax, which will put the company at a disadvantage vis-à-vis its competitors in the fuel and energy markets. This, he concludes, is evidence “that the motives for such action are purely political and calculated to deliberately reduce the market value of Orlen and are even the first step towards privatization of the concern.”

Obajtek fears that as a consequence of this move, foreign investors and partners will lose confidence in the country and Orlen, as well as international rating agencies, in turn leading to the undoing of all the work of recent years, when Orlen’s ratings reached the highest levels in history. 

The new parliamentary majority led by Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO) and Szymon Hołownia’s Poland 2050 has submitted draft legislation that would freeze the price of power, gas and heating for domestic households until the end of June 2024. According to the draft, the whole operation is to be financed by a levy placed on Orlen. 

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