Fuel firms merger will bolster Poland's position in region - Orlen CEO

The upcoming merger of Poland's biggest petroleum company PKN Orlen with its smaller competitor Lotos will strengthen the country's position in the region, PKN Orlen CEO Daniel Obajtek said on Wednesday.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, announced on Tuesday its approval of the Orlen-Lotos merger plans provided that Orlen fulfils all its commitments presented in the application, including the divestment of a 30 percent share in the Lotos refinery and of 80 percent of Lotos petrol stations.

"It's the biggest merger in the region in this sector and one that involves a high level of concentration," Obajtek said at a press conference.

"This merger guarantees that we will be much more attractive globally as a customer," the CEO said, adding that the move will translate into saved operational and logistic costs.

Obajtek said the merger with Lotos also integrated with Orlen's plans to launch production for the petrochemical industry, alongside fuel production. Explaining the strategy, he said that in several decades petroleum fuel may be less in demand than it is today, whereas the petrochemical segment was expected to grow threefold in the coming 30 years.

Obajtek said the merger will not involve any redundancies.

Lotos CEO Pawel Majewski said the merger with Orlen opened new development prospects for his company. He added that the move was also necessary in view of the EU's energy transition plans.