Viewing cable 06WARSAW2199
Title: POLAND WAITING FOR ANSWERS ON MAZEIKIU FIRE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06WARSAW21992006-10-13 15:49:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Warsaw
VZCZCXRO8940
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHWR #2199 2861549
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131549Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2200
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2537
RUEHKW/AMCONSUL KRAKOW PRIORITY 1340
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L WARSAW 002199 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NCE, EUR/NB, EB/ESC 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 
DOE FOR HARBERT AND LEKIMOFF 
DOC FOR 4231/IEP/EUR/BOHIGIAN 
DOC FOR 4232/ITA/MAC/EUR/JBURGESS, MWILSON, JKIMBALL 
TREASURY FOR OASIA MGAERTNER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2016 
TAGS: ENRG EPET PREL LH RS PO
SUBJECT: POLAND WAITING FOR ANSWERS ON MAZEIKIU FIRE 
 
REF: VILNIUS 944 AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: ACTING DCM RICHARD RORVIG, REASONS 1.4 B AND D 
 
¶1.  (C)  Cezary Filipowicz, PKN Orlen (PKNO) Deputy President 
told Deputy Econ Counselor that while he can't say with 100 
percent certainty that the PKNO purchase of Mazeikiu Nafta 
oil refinery (MN) will proceed following the October 12 fire, 
it is PKNO's intention to complete the purchase.  A team of 
PKNO officials is on its way to Lithuania to participate as 
observers in the investigative commission formed to study the 
impact of the fire on the plant.  A final decision on the 
purchase will be made by PKNO after the investigation is 
completed.  Filipowicz did not comment on whether the event 
was an accident, preferring to wait for the investigation to 
conclude. 
 
¶2.  (C)  Filipowicz explained that PKNO's major concern is 
the destroyed vacuum column.  There are three scenarios for 
its replacement.  The most optimistic is that a spare column 
that has not been used at MN in the last eight years but is 
in good shape could be used, which would put the column into 
operation in three to four weeks.  The next alternative is to 
purchase a spare unit in Russia, which Filipowicz said would 
take three to four months to buy and install but could be 
problematic given PKNO's troubled relations with Russia. 
Least attractive is ordering and building a new column, a 
process that could take until next June. 
 
¶3.  (C)  By contrast, Krzysztof Rogala of the Office of 
Diversification of the Ministry of Economy was adamant in his 
opinion that the MN fire was not an accident.  As proof, he 
commented that the Deputy Chair of the Russian Duma's 
International Affairs Committee Kuznetzov had a meeting 
scheduled with Polish Minister of Economy Wozniak on October 
13 which was cancelled abruptly on October 11, the day before 
the fire.  He said Kuznetzov's comments to the Lithuanian 
press that Lithuania made a mistake selling the refinery to 
PKNO support this theory.  In addition, MN's President Nelson 
English was in Venezuela to sign a new oil supply contract on 
October 13 and had to fly back to deal with the fire rather 
than sign the deal.  Finally, Rogala contended that Polish 
experts believe the column collapsed too quickly to be an 
accident. 
 
¶4.  (C)  Rogala was less optimistic that PKNO would finalize 
the deal for the plant.  He noted that the investigation 
would need to determine whether or not the fire was an 
accident, and that the insurance company would not be likely 
to make a payment to MN if the event was not an accident. 
Difficulties on compensation could delay or derail the 
transaction.  (Note:  The Ministry of Economy has a knee-jerk 
anti-Russian reaction that is exemplified by Rogala's 
analysis.  End Note.) 
 
¶5.  (C)  Comment:  The Polish press carried articles on the 
Mazeikiu refinery fire in their business sections, 
highlighting Russian opposition to PKN Orlen's purchase and 
questioning whether the fire was truly an accident.  PKN 
Orlen and GOP officials have been more measured in their 
comments.  Filipowicz's assessment that the investigation 
should proceed and that PKN Orlen intends to go ahead with 
the transaction is likely to prevail barring unforseen 
results from the investigation.  We will continue to follow 
Polish reaction to the fire, but still believe that PKN Orlen 
will complete the purchase which is  an important strategic 
goal for the company. 
ASHE