Poland's coal spin-off plans still on track, says ministry

Poland's coal spin-off plans still on track, says ministry
By Reuters
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WARSAW – Poland will spin off state-owned utilities’ coal-fired power plants as planned, the State Assets Ministry (MAP) said on Thursday, after two companies’ plans to raise funds with share issues spurred speculation the process could be delayed.

Last year, the government said it planned to transfer utilities’ coal assets to a new state-owned company so that they could focus on green energy, but announcements this week from PGE and Enea that they are raising capital caused concern among some analysts that the process could be in trouble.

“The process of separation of coal generation assets is being carried out as planned. Proposals by the companies for a capital increase do not in any way affect the MAP plans in this regard,” the ministry said in response to Reuters questions.

Poland generates most of its electricity from highly polluting coal, but plans to boost its emissions-free nuclear and renewable energy generation.

The transfer of the assets, which do not include hard coal mines, was expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2022.

On Tuesday, Poland’s biggest utility PGE said it was planning to raise around 3.2 billion zlotys ($803.39 million)from a share issue to speed up its investments in renewables, decarbonisation and distribution.

Another state-controlled utility Enea announced its planned share issue a day later.

The share issues “may indicate the… complexity of the process and its extension in time,” Trigon DM analyst Michal Kozak said in a note on Wednesday.

The ministry said it was analyzing both companies’ plans.

The state holds a 57.39% stake in PGE and a 51.5% stake in Enea.

($1 = 3.9831 zlotys)

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