* Lotos signed spot delivery deal with Iran in 2016
* Would aim for long-term deal when new coking unit ready
* Could resume dividend payments this year
* Company hasn't paid dividends since 2007
By Anna Koper
WARSAW, Feb 12 Poland's second-biggest oil
refiner Lotos is interested in securing a long-term
supply deal with Iran once it completes a new coking unit at its
Gdansk refinery next year, its chief executive said.
State-run Lotos wants to diversify its imports of oil and
gas away from Russia, its largest supplier. It signed an
agreement last year with National Iranian Oil Company and the
first tankers carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil arrived
in Poland in mid-August.
It is now in talks to receive another 2 million barrels.
"We are negotiating a supply of heavy oil from Iran," CEO
Marcin Jastrzebski told Reuters in an interview authorised for
publication on Sunday. "We assume that shipment of two million
barrels will reach the (Polish) port of Gdansk at the beginning
Lotos could potentially agree a long-term contract with Iran
after it finishes construction of the 2.3-billion zloty ($570
million) coking unit at its Gdansk refinery in 2018, he said.
"The primary goal of the diversification is to
improve(financial) results not just to change suppliers,"
In 2016, 75 percent of oil processed at Lotos's refinery
came from Russia.
AIMING FOR DIVIDENDS
Jastrzebski said that he would like the company to start
paying dividends again this year - after a 10-year break.
"We are still calculating the results," he said. "My
ambition is for Lotos to become a dividend-paying company
already in 2017."
Lotos announced a five-year strategy at the end of last
year, part of a broader overhaul of the firm that also envisages
investment of 9.4 billion zlotys in 2017-2022, among other
"We want to gradually increase the level of dividends and
reach the level of other companies in the sector," Jastrzebski
said. "We will be striving towards that, although the pace of
growth remains uncertain."
($1 = 4.0370 zlotys)
(Reporting by Anna Koper; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by