TURMOIL AROUND TAURON’S BOARD

Quarrel between Tauron’s Management Board and Ministry of Treasury keeps on going, postponing energy groups decision about involvement in Nowa Kompania Węglowa project and therefore restructuring the whole mining sector in Silesian region. Three more members of Tauron’s Supervisory Board where dismissed, followed by announcing appointment of five new ones.

Last week Antoni Tajduś resigned from the position of member of SB, followed by removing Marek Ściążko by MoT. The background of these changes is acquisition of Brzeszcze mine, moved in May from Kompania Węglowa to Mines Restructuring Company (SRK). In the same month Tauron announced that Brzeszcze will be incorporated to Tauron Wydobycie, although it stressed that taking over the facility would have to be economically justified. That decision was crucial for MoT for political reasons, because the announcement was made right in between the presidential election rounds. Now Ministry of Treasury, pressured by the incoming parliamentary election decided to execute the Tauron’s declaration, although MoT stumbled upon on a strong resistance against simplified acquisition of Brzeszcze mine.

Tauron announced publicly their conditions on taking over Brzeszcze, which included i.a. that acquisition will not be made directly by Tauron Group, but by separate company, formed by Tauron, Lesser Poland’s Regional Development Agency and Niedzica hydro power plants (having large amounts of free cash). Also, Tauron would pay for Brzeszcze 1 PLN and only after running an official public tender, meanwhile SRK would cover the cost of restructuring Brzeszcze’s employment model (lowering the base wages and redundancies).

SRK’s plan was vastly different and included pricing calculations of Brzeszcze, enlarged by all the costs that SRK already spent on the mine. MoT knew, that accepting Tauron’s proposal would result with Brzeszcze’s labor unions protests against wages cuts and reduction of employment and that this situation has to be avoided in the pre-election period (although the proposal was backed by the Tauron’s labor unions). Instead, Ministry decided to change the Management Board structure.

The first attempt last week was a failure, but with five new members appointed by the Ministry of Treasury today the second strike should be successful. MoT is desperate to force Tauron to take part in the “mining industry rescue plan”, because it can feel the look of other energy groups on its back. If Tauron would resist from reckless acquisition of Brzeszcze, both Enea and Energa would read it as a sign for retreating from the involvement in mining sector. Time is running out.

SOON MORE ABOUT NOWA KOMPANIA WĘGLOWA PROJECT

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