Poland takes over section of Yamal-Europe gas pipeline from Russia
Photo: EuRoPol Gaz

The Polish antitrust authority UOKiK has allowed Orlen, a local energy corporation, to take over EuRoPol Gaz, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, PAP news agency reports.

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Orlen applied for concentration on 2 October and was granted permission a week later.

"The concentration means that Orlen S.A. with an office in Plock will gain exclusive control over System Gasociągów Tranzytowych ‘Europol Gaz’ S.A.," UOKiK said in a statement on Tuesday.

Orlen Group operates oil refineries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania, retails fuel in Central Europe, and operates mining in Poland, Norway, Canada, and Pakistan. It is also involved in energy production, including renewable energy sources and natural gas distribution.

As part of its transformation into a multi-energy group, the company has acquired a number of other large Polish companies in recent years, including Energa, Grupa Lotos and PGNiG.

"The acquisition of Gazprom's shares by Europol Gaz and Orlen's control over the transit pipeline system will be of fundamental importance for the public interest and security of our country, not only in terms of energy," Orlen president Daniel Obaytek was quoted as saying.

He called the decision another step towards restoring full Polish control over the country's strategic gas infrastructure.

The Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline is owned by EuRoPol GAZ, a joint venture between Gazprom and Poland's PGNiG, and operated by Gaz-System.

Poland was the first country in Europe to introduce the institution of temporary compulsory administration for Russian assets. It can be applied when it comes to protecting the economy of states.

Last October, a temporary administration was introduced at Novatek Green Energy, a subsidiary of Russia's Novatek, and in November, this mechanism was applied to Gazprom's share in EuRoPol GAZ, which controls the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline.