Criticism of Habeck: Woidke demands billions in aid for Schwedt

An oil embargo could soon come into force as a result of Russia's war of aggression.

Criticism of Habeck: Woidke demands billions in aid for Schwedt

An oil embargo could soon come into force as a result of Russia's war of aggression. Brandenburg's Prime Minister Woidke is therefore demanding further support to secure the refinery in Schwedt. However, the federal government's commitments are insufficient.

Brandenburg's Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke is demanding billions in aid from the federal government in order to secure the PCK refinery in Schwedt in the long term even if there is an oil embargo against Russia. Financial support is necessary for a "climate-neutral transformation of the region," the SPD politician told the "Tagesspiegel". "I reckon that the need will be around two billion euros." Previous commitments by the federal government were not enough. The background is an oil embargo against Russia that is being debated at EU level because of the attack on Ukraine.

The PCK refinery is majority owned by the German subsidiary of the Russian state-owned company Rosneft and processes Russian oil from the Druzhba pipeline. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck from the Greens is looking for new oil delivery routes for Schwedt via Rostock and Gdansk. In the long term, the refinery is concerned with the transition to hydrogen.

Woidke criticized Habeck, who had not ruled out regional fuel shortages in East Germany when Russian oil was stopped. Germany needs a secure supply everywhere. For this, Schwedt has to continue running with full force if possible.

He was not satisfied with the previous framework conditions for the possible EU embargo, Woidke continued. "The impending consequences are trivialized." Economic operation of PCK must be guaranteed. "We need an almost 100% oil supply from alternative sources," said Woidke. "The federal government is not that far." The refinery is not secured with 50 to 60 percent.

The President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, still sees question marks over the future capacity utilization of the refinery. In the rbb24 Inforadio he referred to the discussions between those involved about further oil supplies, but also said: "The question is, is that really enough for the full utilization of production."

Habeck had stated that the Russian operator had no interest in turning away from Russian oil. However, according to a spokesman, Rosneft Germany is open to processing non-Russian oil. Brandenburg's Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach said about this announcement: "That surprises me positively." He had assumed that "in case of doubt, there would be an order from Moscow not to do it."

However, the spokesman for Rosneft Germany had referred to possible problems with deliveries via Rostock and Gdansk. Rostock is not an oil port and must first be expanded. Difficulties are also to be expected on the delivery route from Danzig to Schwedt. Steinbach said: "As far as I know, the delivery of oil for PCK is actually a logistical challenge for Rostock." According to his information, however, this is affordable with small ships. He also has no indication that supply via Gdansk could become a problem. "A new pipeline is being built there that has significantly more capacity," said the minister.


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