If there is ever a threat of the oil refinery in Mažeikiai closing down, the government must urgently step in, says Eligijus Masiulis, leader of the Liberal Movement parliamentary group.
Eligijus Masiulis
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"Unfortunately, this government has not used all the measures to the full extent to bail out the loss-making plant. It is about time to wake up and take decisive actions, as in this case too much is at stake: hundreds of jobs and millions in taxes. Even a temporary shut-down of the plant would hit the region of Mažeikiai as well as all Lithuania directly and very hard," said Masiulis.

According to the liberal, Prime Minister Butkevičius still has not provided concrete answers how to achieve favourable results and points of convergence in the negotiations between ORLEN Lietuva and Lithuanian Railways, as well as in the negotiations over product pipeline to Klaipėda.

"This government should finally deal not with the issue of Renata Cytacka (former deputy minister of energy - ELTA), but with the issues of ORLEN Lietuva. The incapability of the government may cost dearly to Lithuania. Therefore, our prime minister and minister of economy must meet with responsible Polish officials as soon as possible and find decisions favourable to both parties," says Masiulis.

Prime minister: Lithuania will not buy back ORLEN Lietuva

The Lithuanian government will not consider the option of acquiring ORLEN Lietuva, the sole Baltic oil refinery, from Poland’s PKN ORLEN, prime minister says.

“No, we definitely don’t plan to acquire it. But I hope it won’t be necessary. The aim of this government is to have this company continue operations,” Algirdas Butkevičius told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.

He confirmed that on Wednesday he had received information from Poland that the Polish oil concern did not plan to shut down the Lithuanian refinery.

“Judging from the information available today, they don’t plan to shut it down temporary, either. It should mean that even a temporary shutdown would cost the company a lot,” Butkevičius said.

He reiterated that he had not yet received PKN ORLEN’s reply to Lithuania’s proposals on ways to solve the troubles encountered by the Polish-owned refinery in Mažeikiai.

“We are waiting for their [ORLEN’s] answers to our proposals on the reduction of railway rates, on the building of a 30-percent fuel reserve in Lithuania. We have also invited them to apply for the European Union’s financial support to their investment projects. We are truly ready to cooperate and we hope this correspondence will end since our door is open to them,” Butkevičius said.

He added that the authorities were also trying to find the way out through cooperation with ORLEN Lietuva’s trade union.

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