KRYNICA-ZDROJ, Poland, Sept 7 Poland has put
local heating assets owned by French EDF and Engie
on a list of companies deemed important for energy
security, in order to be able to block their potential sale, the
energy minister said.
Apart from the French assets, the government's list includes
state-run copper producer KGHM, chemicals group Azoty
, power firm Tauron, telecom firm TK Telekom,
and also private Fortum and PKP Energetyka.
"If EDF decides to exit Poland, then by putting EDF on such
a list we are gaining the right to veto a potential buyer,"
Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski told reporters on the
sidelines of the Economic Forum in Krynica, south of Poland.
He declined to say whether he had talked to EDF or Engie
about the deals and whether the ministry will use the right to
block them, but said that if a prospective buyer was an
investment fund, which focuses mostly on rapid growth, the
ministry would "have to take a look".
EDF launched the sale of its Polish assets earlier this year
as part of a strategy to focus on low-carbon nuclear and
Local newspapers said Australian fund management firm IFM
and its unit Veolia Energia Polska have submitted the highest
In Poland, EDF's plants hold a 15 percent share of the
heating market. Its 1.7 gigawatt (GW) coal-fired power station
in Rybnik, in the south, generates about 7 percent of
electricity consumed in Poland.
Separately, Engie said it wants to sell its Polaniec
coal-fired power plant, which constitutes of around 5.5 percent
of installed power capacity in Poland. Poland's
Enea said it would be interested in the asset.
Poland accelerated its efforts to increase its control over
important companies after Russia's Acron increased its
stake in Azoty to 20 percent in 2014.
(Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski; Writing by Agnieszka
Barteczko; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)