Economy Minister Hebek is renewing responsibilities for PCK refining
Thousands of people demonstrated in Schwedt to defend PCK. Federal Economic Affairs Minister Hebek backed sanctions against Russia – and reiterated his commitment to financial assistance for the refinery.
Federal Economy Minister Robert Hebek (Greens) has reaffirmed his commitment to making financial progress in the event of a Russian oil shutdown at the PCK refinery in Brandenburg. “This promise has been made,” Hebeck said at a rally in front of about 3,000 civilians and PCK staff in the center of Schwartz on Wednesday evening.
It applies if refineries without oil supply cannot make money during ongoing operations. Nevertheless, Hebek defended Western sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. This includes the exit of Russian oil on which the site is currently dependent.
“These restrictions have a specific effect domestically, in fact,” Hebek said. “But it’s not just for Schwedt and PCK.” The place must be prepared to find alternatives considering the global and climate-political situation. “Everything indicates that we are ready to create an alternative. That is our strategy. That is what I feel is being asked of me and us.”
Mayor Habek demands firm things
In a letter to the Federal Ministry of Economy, Brandenburg called on the state government to operate 100 percent of the Schwedt refinery in defiance of a planned EU oil embargo against Russia. On July 4, the working group meets for the second time on the future of the refinery.
It was for Hebek During his first visit to Schwedt seven weeks ago, he assured PCK staff that the plant, which had about 1,200 employees, would be retained. Schwedt’s Mayor Annekathrin Hoppe (SPD) told rbb24 Brandenburg: “Finally, we got a thumbs up from Mr. Habeck. It’s a start. But you know what it looks like, you need written documentation.” Changing the structure of the city requires time and money.
In mid-June, a left-wing parliamentary group in the Brandenburg state parliament called on the federal government to enact legal guarantees for workers at the PCK refinery and Schwartz in the event of an oil embargo against Russia. Sebastian Walter, the leader of the Left Party, said at the time that it should also list the federal government’s financial resources for the conversion of the refinery.
Eastern Commissioner: The region is moving closer
Carsten Schneider, the federal government’s commissioner for Eastern Europe, insisted that the Schwedt region maintain a perspective even after the end of Russian oil operations. “We need to invest a lot of money in the Schwedt area,” the SPD politician told rbb on Wednesday.
Schneider told Radioins that residents and staff of the refinery were happy to demonstrate for their safety. “I’m so glad this demonstration is happening today because the area shows that it stands together.” He added: “Since Rosneft is a participant, there is no perspective that everything will be the same.”
No Russian oil by January
The European Union (EU) has decided to impose a ban on Russian oil imports by tanker. However, pipeline imports are allowed at the insistence of Hungary. Nevertheless, the federal government has promised itself to drop Russian oil from the Trushpa pipeline. By January 2023, Russian oil will no longer flow into the Schweitz refinery.
There is however The PCK refinery has been given a production guarantee by the federal government for the next few years. “Crude oil will continue to be processed here from January 1, 2023,” said Michael Kelner, the parliamentary secretary of state responsible for the federal economy’s ministry in mid-June. He specifically named the years 2023 and 2024.
Two new delivery routes are under discussion, via the oil tanker: via the port of Rostock and via the existing pipeline via Schwetz and the port of Kdansk in Poland, and through existing pipelines.
Broadcast: Antenne Brandenburg, June 29, 2022, 9:00 pm