Energy: Dispute over refinery - Habeck: Ball is in Brandenburg

In the difficult search for solutions for the future of the oil refinery in Schwedt, the federal and state governments accuse each other of failure.

Energy: Dispute over refinery - Habeck: Ball is in Brandenburg

In the difficult search for solutions for the future of the oil refinery in Schwedt, the federal and state governments accuse each other of failure. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck rejected criticism from Brandenburg and sees the ball in the state government. A dispute had previously broken out over the working group headed by his ministry. The Greens politician wrote on Friday in a letter to the Brandenburg ministries available to the German Press Agency that there was a proposal for a transformation program for Schwedt. The union is waiting for a response.

On Thursday, Brandenburg threatened to withdraw from the joint task force on the future of the refinery. Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke called for more speed and criticized the fact that the working group had only met twice so far. The PCK refinery mainly processes Russian oil and would be severely affected by the oil embargo.

"Obviously you are not fully informed about the latest status. Your state government has a proposal for a comprehensive transformation program with which we want to support the location in the difficult situation and secure jobs," wrote Habeck to State Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach and Finance Minister Katrin Lange . "So the ball is in your court and we would be very happy to work together constructively."

The transformation program is also about financing. The letter states that the federal government has made a far-reaching proposal, but that Brandenburg must also make an appropriate contribution.

The SPD politician Woidke is demanding at least 1.5 billion euros from the federal government for a transformation fund for a realignment of the industrial location Schwedt. This is required for a period of at least 15 years, according to an internal paper by the head of government available to the dpa. The state will participate in the transformation process with 150 million euros, also over a period of 15 years. The Federal Ministry of Economics did not comment on this demand from Brandenburg on Friday.

Finance Minister Lange countered Habeck's letter: "Apparently the penny still hasn't dropped in Berlin. I won't be able to watch this tragedy much longer at the expense of the country and its people." The working group does not have a comprehensive transformation program. "And the federal government still hasn't understood that it's not primarily about the transformation, which takes years or decades like in Lusatia, but about securing production and employment in Schwedt, which will be at stake from December. "

Brandenburg had previously complained in a letter to Habeck that there were no reliable written statements from the federal government on how the location could be secured and the consequences of the embargo intercepted. Woidke also said the speed of the working group needed to be increased because people were suffering from the uncertainty. The project group is led by the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics, Michael Kellner. Habeck responded to the criticism: "The situation in Schwedt is undeniably difficult. That's why we're constantly working to find solutions."

A few months before the start of the oil embargo against Russia, the future of the PCK refinery is unclear. It is majority owned by the German subsidiary of the Russian state-owned company Rosneft. The plant supplies large parts of eastern Germany with fuel. It is planned to supply the refinery from other sources. The operation of the plant should be guaranteed.

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