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Poland acts to protect vital heating assets

The Polish government has passed regulations aimed at having control over the fortunes of heating assets in the country.

The government has placed 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, Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski told reporters on the sidelines of the Economic Forum in Krynica, southern Poland.

Reuters reports that apart from the French assets, the government’s list also includes 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,” he said.

He 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 renewable energy.

Local newspapers said Australian fund management firm IFM and its unit Veolia Energia Polska have submitted the highest offer.

In Poland, EDF’s plants hold a 15 per cent share of the heating market. Its 1.7 gigawatt (GW) coal-fired power station in Rybnik, in the south, generates about 7 per cent of electricity consumed in Poland.