WARSAW. JUNE 21. INTERFAX C.NTRAL EUROPE - Poland's second largest fuel company, Grupa Lotos, has signed a PLN 2.2 bln contract with Italian engineering firm Technip for technical design, supplies and the construction of two installations, which will allow the company to increase volumes and the quality of oil processing, Lotos said Thursday.
"The signing of the contract, which is worth more than PLN 2.2 bln, is a significant step in realizing the comprehensive technological development program (PKRT)," Lotos's CEO Pawel Olechnowicz told a press conference on Thursday.
The program will allow increased volumes and improved processing quality, according to materials released at the conference. Olechnowicz said that the first stage of the program will cost EUR 1.47 bln, 30% of which will be financed from the company's own sources, while remaining 70% will be financed from the external sources.
Lotos is planning to close financing of the investment in the fourth quarter of 2007.
"We have 70% of the contracts already signed, which allows us to look for financing on the banking market," Lotos' vice-president Mariusz Machajewski said. "We are planning to find USD 1.5 mln in loans mainly from commercial banks, but we are not ruling out the participation of institutions such as EIB or EBRD to optimize financing."
Machajewski added that the financing period was set at 12.5 years and that the loans will be denominated in US dollars to decrease the currency risk factor.
By realizing the PKRT program Lotos will increase fuel sales from the current 4 mln tonnes to 8 mln tonnes annually in 2010. The company's share in the wholesale fuel market will increase to 30% and to 10% in the retail market in 2010. Sales of asphalt are planned to increase to 1.3 mln tonnes annually in 2010. Oil processing will rise to 10.5 mln tonnes annually in 2012, up from current 6 mln tonnes.
Lotos' revenues are expected to at least double to PLN 20 bln as a result of the program, but the company hopes this amount will further increase.
"This is the minimum we expect," Olechnowicz said. "The level of growth will depend on projects we will carry out including the upstream projects."