PKN Orlen

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PKN Orlen S.A.
Spółka Akcyjna
Traded asWSEPKN
WIG30 Component
IndustryOil and Gas
FoundedPłock, Poland
September 7th, 1999 as Polski Koncern Naftowy
Key people
Daniel Obajtek [pl] Executive Chairman
ProductsFuel, crude oil and other natural gas
RevenueIncrease PLN 95.364 billion (2017)[1] Increase 22 billion (2017)
Increase PLN 8.657 billion (2017)
Increase PLN 7.173 billion (2017)[1]
Total assetsIncrease PLN 60.664 billion (2017)
Total equityPLN 535 million (2017)
Number of employees
20,262 (2017)[2]
PKN Orlen headquarters in Płock, Poland.

PKN Orlen (Polish: Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen) (WSEPKN) is a major Polish oil refiner and petrol retailer. The company is a significant European publicly traded firm with major operations in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and the Baltic States. Orlen is a major sponsor of the Williams Racing Formula One team, Polish volleyball, both the national teams and the women's national tournament.[3]


Foundation (1999)[edit]

The firm was created through the merger of two state-run petrochemical firms: C.P.N. (Centrala Produktów Naftowych), Communist Poland's petroleum retail monopoly and Petrochemia Płock, the state firm in charge of the oil refineries in Płock, the largest complex of its kind in Poland. After the merger of CPN and Petrochemia Płock in 1999, the company was renamed as Polski Koncern Naftowy (PKN), with Orlen added several months later as the consortium's brand name. The new name is derived from Orl- for "orzeł" (Polish: eagle) and its adjective "orli", and -en for "energia" (Polish: energy).

Privatization and Orlengate[edit]

In 1999, both firms were partially privatized and merged to create a retail and refining company under the name PKN Orlen.

Orlengate is the biggest corruption scandal in the modern political history of Poland. The scandal started with the arrest on 7 February 2002 by the UOP (Office for State Protection) of Andrzej Modrzejewski, the CEO of PKN Orlen. He was accused of insider trading and disclosure of confidential information.[4] Zbigniew Wrobel directly succeeded as CEO and proposed in December 2002 $160 million for the purchase of 295 German gas stations from the British BP PLC. It was the first step in Wrobel´s strategy of expanding west. At this time PKN Orlen was Poland´s largest company, with sales of $7.2 billion.[5]

International Expansions (2003-2013)[edit]

After losses in 2000 and 2001 the fund returned 25% in 2002. Until July 2003 it grew by nearly one-third since March and in total the fund was up by about 60% since the start in 1994.[6]

In 2003 PKN Orlen had the chance to acquire 500 filling stations in Northern Germany from BP under premise of an anti-competition rule when BP took over Aral. As of 2007 PKN Orlen has 581 filling stations in Germany (484 under the Star brand, 58 under the Orlen brand and 29 under a supermarket brand).

In January 2003 PKN Orlen and MOL signed a Memorandum of Understanding whereby they agreed intention to initiate co-operation in the Central and Eastern European oil sector. They hoped that the collaboration would allow them both to benefit from the synergies and to compete more effectively in the global competition.[7] In July 2003 the Croatian INA refinery was sold for $505 million to PKN Orlen´s competitor, the Hungarian oil company MOL. This strengthen MOL´s position in the battle for control of Central Europeans and Balkan fuel markets.[8]

Furthermore PKN Orlen was involved in merger talks with MOL Group in 2005. If merged, the two firms would have created a regional giant, and controlled much of Central Europe's oil industry. However, the planned merger failed due to high politicization. Following the dropped merger plans, PKN Orlen bought a majority stake in Czech Unipetrol.[9] During May 2006, the company announced its largest investment ever when it took over a majority share of 84.3% of Lithuania's Mažeikių Nafta, the largest company in the Baltic States. It was partly bought from Yukos (53.7%) and partly from the Lithuanian government (30.6%) in December.[10] Earlier on October 12 a fire damaged the Mažeikių refinery, which caused a loss about $75 million.[11] With the completion of the takeover, PKN Orlen became Central Europe's largest company.

In May 2007 after Lithuania sold its refinery to PKN Orlen, Russian government approved the construction of a new $2 billion pipeline, that passes Belarus and Lithuania.[12]

In 2007 the unit of Polish oil group PKN Orlen PKNA.WA and Dwory Chemicals bought a synthetic rubber company Kaucuk from Czech oil group Unipetrol UNPEsp.PR. The sale was part of a drive by Unipetrol to divest non-core assets and to focus on petrochemical, oil refinery and fuel retailing business.[13]

In 2010 PKN Orlen had a reported revenue of $28.8 billion.[14] Next year it was the largest fuel retailer in Poland with over 2000 locations. The company ran the most advanced and the second largest complex for terephthalic acid production in Europe.[15]

In 2013 PKN Orlen and Klaipedos Nafta oil terminal negotiated the co-operation on a new pipeline supported by the Lithuanian government.[16] In order to establish the company in Canada and to become an oil producer PKN Orlen bought the oil and gas company TriOil Resources Ltd for $169 million in September 2013. After its first foreign expansion the company acquired Birchill Exploration Ltd due to double its production in May 2014.[17]

PKN Orlen, under a joint venture with the Netherlands firm Basell, also owns Poland's largest plastics company.


In 2019 and 2020 they will sponsor Williams Grand Prix Engineering and driver Robert Kubica in Formula One with 100 million PLN.[18] In 2019, PKN Orlen opened its first petrol station in Slovakia through its Czech subsidiary Unipetrol under the Benzina brand.[19]

Brands and subsidiaries of Grupa Orlen (PKN Orlen Group)[edit]

Orlen station in Gdańsk, northern Poland
Star station in Germany
Orlen station in Lithuania
  • Orlen (Polish market petrol station brand)
  • Star (German market petrol station brand)[20]
  • Unipetrol (Czech national petrol firm)[21]
  • Benzina (Czech and Slovak market petrol station brand)[22]
  • Spolana (Czech chemical company)[23]
  • ORLEN Lietuva[24]
  • Orlen Paliwa
  • Ship Service
  • Orlen KolTrans
  • Orlen Transport
  • Orlen Oil
  • Orlen Laboratorium
  • Orlen Asfalt
  • Orlen Serwis
  • Orlen Projekt
  • Orlen Budonaft
  • Solino (Industrial brine manufacturer)
  • Basell Orlen Polyolefins (Plastics and synthetic materials)
  • Anwil (Polish chemical firm)
  • Orlen Upstream
  • Orlen International Exploration and Production Company

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Dane finansowe PKN ORLEN".
  2. ^ "Orlen w liczbach".
  3. ^ Poland by Fortune GLobal 500
  4. ^ "Finance scandal rocks Poland". 8 February 2002. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Zbigniew Wrobel". Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. ^ "World of Investing : For risk-takers, look at Poland". The New York Times. 26 July 2003. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  7. ^ Greenroom. "MOL and PKN ORLEN sign memorandum of understanding - MOL Magyarország". Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  8. ^ Green (NYT), Peter S. (18 July 2003). "World Business Briefing | Europe: Croatia: Refiner Sold". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Mazeikiu Nafta - The biggest transaction in the history - PKN ORLEN". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  10. ^ Kramer, Andrew E. (15 December 2006). "World Business Briefing | Europe: Poland: Oil Concern Buys a Refinery". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  11. ^ Kramer, Andrew (28 October 2006). "Lithuanians are giben a taste of how Russia plays the Oil Game". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  12. ^ Bohlen, Celestine (3 July 2007). "Letter from Lithuania: Baltic state seeks freedom from Russia's energy 'friendship'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Poland's PKN Orlen to buy Czech rubber firm Kaucuk". Reuters. 29 January 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  14. ^ Sobczyk, Marcin (10 February 2011). "Polish Oil Firm Sets Central Europe's Revenue Record". WSJ. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Launch of Europe's most advanced PX/PTA complex - PKN ORLEN". Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Lithuania Seeks Pipeline Memo Between Orlen and Klaipedos Nafta". Bloomberg. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  17. ^ "PKN Orlen of Poland Buys Birchill to Double Canadian Oil Output". 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  18. ^ Media, Wirtualna Polska (21 November 2018). "Dwuletnia umowa i 100 mln złotych. Orlen wyda fortunę na Kubicę - WP SportoweFakty". (in Polish). Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Orlen Group opens its first petrol station in Slovakia". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  20. ^ "PKN Orlen to install fast-chargers at 150 service stations in Poland". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Jakub Kosmowski is the new marketing director of Unipetrol". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  22. ^ Shah, Shakhil (29 August 2018). "PKN Orlen set to take full control of Unipetrol". Emerging Europe. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Poland's PKN Orlen, Tauron eye building power plant in Czech Republic - ET EnergyWorld". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Poland: Orlen launches two new, quality fuels". Retrieved 19 December 2018.

External links[edit]