Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees great prospects for the PCK refinery in Schwedt. The SPD politician made this clear at a workers’ conference in the city of Brandenburg. The federal government had previously announced that the majority owners of the PCK refinery – two subsidiaries of the Russian state company Rosneft – would be placed under a guarantee by the Federal Network Corporation and thus under state control. Rosneft does not want to accept that.
Scholz, Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Brandenburg Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) outlined the package of measures on Friday in Berlin. The chancellor announced one billion euros in investment as part of the package for the future. Place and work are therefore reserved. No one at a PCK cleaner should have to worry about their jobs.
Scholz: “Oil will be processed here for a long time to come”
On the sidelines of a staff meeting in Schwedt, Scholz said that the company had a long tradition associated with many stories. “That’s why today’s message is: There will also be a time in the future. Oil will be processed here for a long time,” said Scholz. has existed until now. That is an important message.” Woidke and Habeck State Secretary Michael Kellner were also on site in Schwedt.
PCK has about 1200 employees and is the economic pillar of the area surrounding Schwedt. The refinery supplies fuel to much of the Northeast. The origin of the guarantee is the oil embargo against Russia because of the war in Ukraine, which came into effect on January 1. At the EU level, Germany has committed itself to refraining from Russian pipeline oil. Until now, PCK has been supplied with Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline. Otherwise, among other things, the oil coming from Rostock should be processed in Schwedt.
Rosneft talks about “illegal” access.
Rosneft accused the federal government of the “forced expropriation” of its German subsidiaries. In a statement in Moscow, the company spoke of the “illegal” acquisition of its assets and announced that it would take legal action against Berlin’s move to protect its assets. “Rosneft sees this as a violation of all the basic principles of the market economy, the civilized foundations of modern society built on the principle of inviolability of private property,” the statement said.
The group insisted that it had fulfilled its obligations at all times. More investments and projects were also planned. The group put the initial investment in Germany at 4.6 billion euros.
At the same time, Rosneft made it clear that the decision from Berlin meant that it was no longer possible to “ensure the industrial and ecological safety of the plant”. The group is also ready to discuss a possible new contract – on the condition that there are guarantees for the payment of oil shipments, for investments and the rights of the company’s employees.
Eastern Commissioner sees new perspectives
The Eastern Commissioner of the federal government, Carsten Schneider, said that with Rosneft there was no further development in the area. Business partners have withdrawn, on the other hand Rosneft has not offered large, uncultivated areas to other investors, the SPD politician told the German editorial network (RND). With the decision of the federal government, he now sees a perspective on Schwedt. “I even dare to predict that there will be more work in Schwedt in a few years than there is today,” he said. When asked if he could tell the workers in good conscience that they had a professional future, the Eastern Commissioner replied: “Of course it is!”.
Federal regulation of sponsorship has previously been limited to six months. Woidke thought in the ZDF “heute journal” that the federal government would take control here “for a long time”. The decision was right, it opens the perspectives of the area. Now you can invest here. The Chancellor of Brandenburg warned against “ignoring” Schwedt’s role. The PCK refinery is systemically important for all of Germany.
“Economically wise person” Veronika Grimm thinks it makes sense for the federal government to take control of Germany’s Rosneft Group to ensure the continued operation of the refinery. At the same time, Grimm said in the “Rheinische Post” that the future supply of oil at the large refinery was uncertain. The connection via Rostock cannot provide the required volume in the short term. Shipping through Polish ports will also be required. It is unclear whether the guarantee will be enough to convince Poland to allow oil shipments through Polish ports.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220917-99-793407/3 (dpa)