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Poland’s biggest oil company PKN Orlen said it’s received several expressions of interest in Orlen Lietuva, its Lithuanian refining unit, though it has yet to decide whether it wants to sell it, Bloomberg reports referring to CEO Jacek Krawiec’ statement to Warsaw-based Radio PiN.

According to Kraviec, the information is based on a preliminary report prepared for Orlen by Nomura Holdings Inc. He declined to name the potential bidders.

Orlen needs to see details of the offers, which should include prices and the sizes of stakes sought, before it makes a decision, Krawiec said. Nomura is scheduled to provide the information late this year or early in 2011, he added.

Nomura was hired in August to advise on the future of the Lithuanian unit, formerly known as Mazeikiu Nafta.

Orlen said options include selling part or all of its stake or keeping the refinery running and improving its efficiency.

The Polish company bought 84% of Lithuanian oil refinery in 2006 for USD 2.34 billion, a record investment by a Polish company abroad, fending off competition from rivals that included Russia’s Lukoil and TNK-BP, as well as Kazakhstan’s KazMunaiGaz.

A Russian pipeline that supplied crude to the refinery has been idled since mid-2006, forcing Orlen to rely on costlier seaborne imports. The refiner’s profitability has been hurt by lack of access to a fuel terminal and higher shipping costs after Lithuania dismantled part of a railway, making the transport route longer.

Orlen has been in talks with the Lithuanian government to rebuild the rail section; so far, no agreement has been reached.

“The profitability of Mazeikiu hasn’t improved to satisfactory levels,” Krawiec said.

Source: balticbusinessnews.com