The PCK refinery in Schwedt in north-eastern Brandenburg has received crude oil for the first time via the port in Gdansk, Poland. In addition to the refinery in Leuna (Saxony-Anhalt), there is also another alternative delivery route for non-Russian crude oil for Schwedt, the Federal Ministry of Economics announced in Berlin. RBB24 had previously reported about it. How much additional oil can be purchased via the port of Gdansk in the future remained unclear.

For months, the question has been how to prevent supply bottlenecks and underutilization of the plant with the start of the oil embargo against Russia in January. The refinery in Schwedt supplies large parts of north-eastern Germany with fuel.

“Important step for security of supply”

“This is an important step for Schwedt’s security of supply,” said Parliamentary State Secretary Michael Kellner (Greens) on Wednesday. However, deliveries via Gdansk would have to be increased. There is a close exchange with the Polish government. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, this first tanker load with European crude oil via Danzig was ordered by Shell – co-owner of PCK.

The background is the oil embargo against Russia because of the Ukraine war, which will take effect on January 1, 2023. Instead, the PCK refinery should be supplied via the ports of Rostock and Gdansk, it had been said for a long time. Oil from Kazakhstan is also under discussion. So far, the plant has been supplied with Russian oil primarily via the Druzhba pipeline.

The Federal Ministry of Economics announced on Wednesday that a ship with European crude oil had now been unloaded via the port of Gdansk and the oil had been pumped to the refinery. The ministry did not provide any information on the amount, citing trade secrets. The oil goes via the Polish branch line “Pomeranian” to the Druzhba pipeline in Poland and on to Germany, it said.

It was unclear on Wednesday to what extent this delivery route via Gdansk could increase the capacity utilization of the refinery if Russian oil were to stop. The company had previously said there remained a “residual risk” to operations from January. In mid-September, the federal government presented a concept for securing the refinery site.