Czech state fuel distributor Čepro chief Jiří Borovec is tired, de-motivated and will step down from the post in December. In political circles, there is talk of him having been pushed to leave, with the Industry and Trade Ministry looking to install one of their own as CEO. It could be he’s frustrated that PM Petr Nečas doesn’t share his vision for a strategic regional hook-up, as PKN Orlen, MOL and Total wait in the wings.
It appears Czech government ministers have suddenly realized that state-owned refined oil products distribution and retail firm Čepro is a strategic company now that regional oil refiners are showing interest in buying into the enterprise with a unique 1,100-kilometer pipeline network for the distribution of petroleum and diesel, and 17 large storage facilities for refined fuels.
Slow demand for petrol and oil product sales and a surplus of refining capacity in Central Europe and the EU are raising questions about the long-term viability of the Czech oil refining sector. In the shorter term, Polish-owned Unipetrol, which controls three Czech refineries, is considering closing the smallest, Paramo, Lidové noviny reported, citing anonymous industry sources.
On a visit to Dresden, PM Petr Nečas said that the Czech state oil pipeline company Mero is prepared to proceed with work on an extension of the Druzhba pipeline guarantees about capacity on linking sections of pipeline and the right shipping terms. Nečas’ ODS predecessor, Mirek Topolánek, also pushed the pipeline link when he was prime minister.
Gazprom boss Alexei Miller, head of E.ON Ruhrgas Klaus Schäfer, Total vice president Michael Borrell and 300 other representatives of the European and global oil and gas sector are to meet in Prague for the European Business Congress (EBC) on June 2 and 3.
Czech oil pipeline operator Mero has confirmed to Czech Position that it is in negotiations with French oil major Total about the construction of a new pipeline route connecting the Litvínov refinery in North Bohemia with the Leuna refinery in eastern Germany. The pipeline would open new supply routes for both refineries.