PKN Orlen

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PKN Orlen S.A.
TypeSpółka Akcyjna
WIG30 Component
FoundedPłock, Poland
7 September 1999 as Polski Koncern Naftowy
Area served
Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Baltic states, Hungary, Canada
Key people
Daniel Obajtek (Executive Chairman)
ProductsFuel, crude oil and other natural gas
BrandsOrlen, Star, Unipetrol, Benzina, Orlen Lietuva
RevenueIncrease PLN 278.509 billion (2022)[1]
Increase PLN 8.657 billion (2019)
Increase PLN 21.441 billion (2022)[1]
Total assetsIncrease PLN 272.747 billion (2022)
Total equityPLN 535 million (2017)
Number of employees
21,109 (2021)[2]

PKN Orlen (Polish: Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen Spółka Akcyjna, PKN Orlen SA., lit.'Polish Oil Concern Orlen Public Corporation'), commonly known as Orlen, is a Polish multinational oil refiner and petrol retailer headquartered in Płock, Poland. The company's subsidiaries include the main oil and gas companies of the Czech Republic and Lithuania, Unipetrol and Orlen Lietuva respecitvely.

The corporation is a significant European publicly traded firm with major operations in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and the Baltic states as well as an operation in Canada. As of February 2022, the largest shareholder of the company is the Polish state with 49.9% of the shares ahead of Nationale-Nederlanden OFE with 5.2% of the shares.[3]

The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and, as of 2022, its reported revenue constituted over PLN 278 billion (ca. US$62 billion). It employs over 21,000 people, owns more than 3,000 service stations in five countries and markets its advanced products to over 100 countries worldwide.[4][5][6]

PKN Orlen is the largest company in Central and Eastern Europe[7] and is listed in global rankings such as Fortune Global 500, Platts TOP250 and Thompson Reuters TOP100.


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).[citation needed]

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.[8] 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.[9]

International Expansions (2003-2014)[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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14] Earlier on 12 October a fire damaged the Mažeikių refinery, which caused a loss about $75 million.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

In 2010 PKN Orlen had a reported revenue of $28.8 billion.[18] 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.[19]

In 2013 PKN Orlen and Klaipedos Nafta oil terminal negotiated the co-operation on a new pipeline supported by the Lithuanian government.[20] 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.[21]

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


In 2019, PKN Orlen opened its first petrol station in Slovakia through its Czech subsidiary Unipetrol under the Benzina brand.[22] At the end of 2020, 20 Orlen stations were operating in Slovakia.

At the end of 2019, Orlen and PZU established the "Sigma Bis" media agency.

Orlen has been implementing a development strategy since 2018, which involves transforming the company into a multi-energy and commercial group. In April 2020, PKN Orlen acquired 80% of Energa shares, and on 14 July 2020 announced that it obtained permission the European Commission's for the takeover of Lotos which is expected to close in June or July 2022.[23] On August 1, 2022, Orlen finalised the merger with Lotos.[24]

In November 2020, Orlen it became the owner of 65% of Ruch SA shares. On 7 December 2020 Orlen signed an agreement to acquire 100% of shares in the media and press company "Polska Press"[25][26][27] and the transaction was carried out on 1 March 2021.[28] This decision was met with criticism from Polish Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, who expressed his concern about the risk to freedom of speech that this takeover poses as PKN Orlen is a state-owned company and the constitutional right to press freedom excludes the possibility of political influence on the press, even an indirect one.[29]

In December 2020, Orlen bought an agricultural biogas plant Bioenergy Project, which it will transform into a biomethane plant. To secure supplies, the company Biozec, responsible for the sale and distribution of thermal energy supplied by the biogas plant, was also acquired. In 2021, Orlen bought 4 wind farms: in February, the Kanin farm with a capacity of 20 MW, and in March, another three with a total capacity of 89.4 MW.[30][31]

On 14 July 2020, PKN Orlen announced its intention to take over PGNiG, and on 10 May 2021, it submitted a takeover application to the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.[32][33] In October 2022, Shareholders of PGNiG approved the company's takeover by PKN Orlen, this came after PKN Orlen Sharholders had done the same.[34]

In 2020, the company announced its plans to become emission-neutral by 2050 becoming the first oil company from Central Europe to do so. In order to achieve this goal, by 2030, PKN Orlen aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its current refining and petrochemical assets by 20% and emissions from power generation by 33% CO2/MWh.[35]


PKN Orlen has sponsored the Polish Athletic Association,[36] the Polish Volleyball Association,[37] the Polish Olympic and Paralympic Committees[38] and various Polish motorsport competitors such as Bartosz Zmarzlik, Jakub Przygoński, Bartek Marszałek, Grupa Żelazny and Wojtek Bógdał.[39]

In 2019, PKN Orlen sponsored Williams Racing and driver Robert Kubica in Formula One with 10 million Euro.[40] After Kubica's move to Alfa Romeo Racing in a reserve driver role in 2020, the Polish petrol retailer became the co-title sponsor of the team as Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen in 2020 and 2021 and as Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen in 2022.[41] In January 2023, PKN Orlen signed a multi-year agreement with Scuderia AlphaTauri as a principal partner.[42]

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

Orlen station in Poland
Orlen station for refueling boats, Poland
Star station in Germany
Benzina station in Czechia

Brands of PKN Orlen[edit]

  • Orlen (Polish market petrol station brand)
  • Star (German market petrol station brand)[43]
  • Unipetrol (Czech national petrol firm)[44]
  • Orlen Lietuva (Lithuanian market petrol station brand)[45]
  • Benzina (Czech and Slovak market petrol station brand)[46]

Orlen Group Structure[edit]

Orlen Group Structure[47]
Name Description
CEO Division
Anwil S.A. production of PVC, nitrogenous fertilisers & other chemicals
Orlen Ochrona security services
Orlen Upstream crude exploration
Sigma Bis S.A. marketing services
Unipetrol a.s. leading Czech refining & petrochemical group
CFO Division
Orlen Capital AB eurobond issue
Orlen Centrum Usług Korporacyjnych book keeping & accounting services
Orlen Holding Malta Limited shareholding in other entities
Orlen Insurance Ltd Orlen Group's assets insurance
Orlen Usługi finansowe financial services
Development Division
AB Orlen Baltics Retail liquid fuel trade & marketing
Orlen Deutschland GmbH retail sales of fuel across Germany
Production Division
AB Orlen Lietuva crude processing, logistics and marketing of petroleum products
Baltic Power production, distribution & trading of electric energy
Basell Orlen Polyolefins production, distribution & marketing of poliethylene and polipropylene
Orlen Południe S.A. crude processing, production & marketing of fuels
Orlen Serwis S.A. maintenance services
Retail Sales Division
Orlen Budonaft construction and fuel stations service
Orlen Centrum Serwisowe retail outlets service
Orlen Laboratorium S.A. laboratory services
Orlen Projekt S.A. civil engineering & process design services
Wholesale and International Trade Division
Orlen trading Switzerland GmbH Trading division
IKS Solino S.A. underground storage of crude & fuels; salt production & marketing
Kopalnia Soli Lubień underground storage of crude & fuels; salt production & marketing
Orlen Asfalt production & marketing of bitumen products
Orlen Aviation Sp. z o.o. liquid fuels trade
Orlen KolTrans S.A. rail shipment & maintenance of the rail stock
Orlen Oil production & marketing of lub oils and lubricants
Orlen Paliwa Sp. z o.o. liquid fuels (petrol and diesel fuel) and Ekoterm Plus light heating oil
SHIP - Service SA supplies of marine fuels, sea & land cargo shipment
Corporate Division
Orlen Administracja office, administrative & catering services
Orlen Eko waste disposal, HSE
PPPT S.A. research & development of technologies

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Financial data".
  2. ^ "Orlen w liczbach". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  3. ^ "Shareholders structure | PKN ORLEN". Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Post-merger fourth-quarter 2022 results posted by ORLEN Group provide solid foundation to support economic growth and enhance energy security for Poland". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  5. ^ "Company overview". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  6. ^ "About us". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  7. ^ "COFACE CEE TOP 500 COMPANIES". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  8. ^ "Finance scandal rocks Poland". 8 February 2002. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Zbigniew Wrobel". Bloomberg. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  10. ^ "World of Investing : For risk-takers, look at Poland". The New York Times. 26 July 2003. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  11. ^ Greenroom. "MOL and PKN ORLEN sign memorandum of understanding - MOL Magyarország". Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Mazeikiu Nafta - The biggest transaction in the history - PKN ORLEN". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Poland's PKN Orlen to buy Czech rubber firm Kaucuk". Reuters. 29 January 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  18. ^ Sobczyk, Marcin (10 February 2011). "Polish Oil Firm Sets Central Europe's Revenue Record". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Launch of Europe's most advanced PX/PTA complex - PKN ORLEN". Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Lithuania Seeks Pipeline Memo Between Orlen and Klaipedos Nafta". Bloomberg. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  21. ^ "PKN Orlen of Poland Buys Birchill to Double Canadian Oil Output". 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Orlen Group opens its first petrol station in Slovakia". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  23. ^ Koper, Anna; Banacka, Anna (12 January 2022). "Poland refiner PKN to sell Lotos assets to Aramco, MOL to complete takeover". Reuters. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  24. ^ Orlen finalises merger with Lotos - TVN24 in English
  25. ^ Koper, Alicja Ptak (7 December 2020). "Poland uses state-owned refiner to buy regional media firm". Reuters.
  26. ^ "Poland: State-run oil company buys leading media group | DW | 08.12.2020". Deutsche Welle.
  27. ^ "PKN ORLEN to take over Polska Press - PKN ORLEN".
  28. ^ Orlen dopiął swego, Polska Press jest już jego własnością
  29. ^ "Zakup Polska Press przez PKN Orlen. Rzecznik o zagrożeniach dla wolności słowa". (in Polish). Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  30. ^ Orlen kupił trzy farmy wiatrowe
  31. ^ PKN Orlen kupił farmy wiatrowe o mocy 89,4 MW za 380 mln zł
  32. ^ Obajtek: ważny krok w kierunku połączenia Orlenu i PGNiG
  33. ^ Orlen zgłosił zamiar przejęcia PGNiG do UOKiK
  34. ^ "Poland's PGNiG shareholders approve takeover by PKN Orlen". Reuters. 10 October 2022.
  35. ^ "PKN ORLEN to be emission-neutral by 2050". Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  36. ^ "ORLEN Sports Group and Polish Athletic Association". Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  37. ^ "Polish Volleyball Association". Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  38. ^ "Cooperation with The Polish Olympic and Paralympic Committees". Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  39. ^ "Supporting Polish motorsport". Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  40. ^ Media, (26 November 2018). "Inwestycja w Kubicę się zwróci? "Ta umowa to zakład. Orlen wygra, jeśli Kubica zacznie wygrywać" -". (in Polish). Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  41. ^ "The eagle soars as PKN ORLEN joins Alfa Romeo Racing as Official Co-Title Sponsor". Sauber Group. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  42. ^ "PKN ORLEN is our new Principal Partner | SCUDERIA ALPHATAURI". 27 January 2023. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  43. ^ "PKN Orlen to install fast-chargers at 150 service stations in Poland". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  44. ^ "Jakub Kosmowski is the new marketing director of Unipetrol". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  45. ^ "Poland: Orlen launches two new, quality fuels". Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  46. ^ Shah, Shakhil (29 August 2018). "PKN Orlen set to take full control of Unipetrol". Emerging Europe. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  47. ^ "ORLEN Group Structure - PKN ORLEN". Retrieved 2 January 2020.

External links[edit]