Polish largest energy firm to finance offshore wind farms with new shares

Rafał Guz/PAP

Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) is planning to allocate part of its PLN 3.2 billion (EUR 706 million) new issue of shares for the development of offshore wind farms, Wojciech Dabrowski, PGE CEO, has said.

On Tuesday, the country’s largest energy company with coal-dominated assets, announced that it was planning to issue series E shares and would like to earmark PLN 1.6 bln (EUR 353 million) to electricity distribution and PLN 1.1 bln (EUR 242 million) to low-carbon natural resources.

The CEO of PGE told Bloomberg on Wednesday that the planned issue of shares is needed to finance the development of offshore wind farms on the Baltic Sea. Dabrowski also said that he hopes for the participation of the Polish state in the offer.

"This proves that we are accelerating the energy transformation. We want to increase the company's value, but also we want to send a clear signal to the markets and the European Commission that this transformation is necessary and our actions are aimed at accelerating the process," Wojciech Dabrowski told PAP. He added that thanks to the new shares issue, PGE might also finish the construction of gas-fired heat and power plants up to two years ahead of schedule.

PGE plans to build - together with co-investors - three offshore wind farms, two of them by 2030 and one after 2030. Their total maximum capacity will be up to 3.5 GW.

The new issue of shares requires approval of PGE’s shareholders and they are expected to gather on March 7. Over 57 percent of PGE’s shares is owned by the Polish state.

The government aims at separating some coal assets from Polish energy groups to unblock their investment capacities. A new entity, NABE, should take over those assets by June 2022.

Dabrowski underlined that the assets separation is being carried out according to the schedule and he did not exclude further issues of shares after the separation takes place.

PGE is the largest green energy producer in Poland, with 16 wind farms, 29 hydropower plants, 4 pumped storage hydropower facilities (PSH) and one photovoltaic farm. The total capacity is 2286.1 MW.