The federal government wants to significantly increase the capacity utilization of the PCK refinery after the oil embargo with the modernization of the pipeline from Rostock to Schwedt. She does not consider a second pipeline to be necessary, as the Federal Ministry of Economics made clear.

After modernization and upgrading of the pipeline, around 9 million tons per year instead of the current 6 to 7 million tons could be transported, a spokeswoman said. “With these measures, the utilization of the PCK increases to around 75-80 percent with transport via the port of Rostock. In addition, the PCK utilization can be further increased by additional oil volumes from Poland or Kazakhstan.”

The refinery was disappointed. “We regret this decision, because from our point of view the construction of a new pipeline would have been a sensible and sustainable investment in terms of energy strategy for a secure supply for all of East Germany and for a successful transformation,” said PCK. The Ministry of Economics replied: “The modernization is sufficient for the economic operation and supply of the region.” Several media had previously reported about it.

Modernization of the pipeline for the Schwedt site necessary

Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) also sees something positive in the decision. “I know that some expected more and put their faith in the new building. Nevertheless, I am glad that we have made a decision and are clear about how to proceed,” he said. The modernization of the pipeline is urgently needed for the future of the Schwedt site. “Now it is important to speed up the planning and to implement the project quickly. It is important that the modernized line is fit for future requirements, that must be ensured.”

According to the will of the federal government, no Russian oil has been coming to PCK in Brandenburg via the Druzhba pipeline since the turn of the year. Instead, crude oil first flows through the port of Rostock. The refinery is currently operating at just over 50 percent capacity. In addition, oil is to come via the Gdansk port in Poland. Thanks to a special admixture for a higher flow rate and quantities from Poland and Kazakhstan in January and February, the Federal Ministry of Economics believes that the refinery’s capacity can increase to around 70 percent. The tender for additional crude oil from Kazakhstan has ended.

According to PCK, it now intends to concentrate on increasing the capacity of the pipeline by around half with an extensive upgrading program “and ensuring reliable operation with high availability as quickly as possible”. This requires the rapid approval of the funds promised by the federal government. According to the PCK, nine out of ten cars in Berlin and Brandenburg run on fuel from Schwedt.