Central Europe / News

Croatia's INA signs off on €537mn refinery upgrade

Newsbase December 13, 2019

INA's investment at Rijeka will be the largest in its history, establishing the plant as a top-tier European refinery.

Poland spared commitment to EU 2050 climate neutrality goal – for now

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 13, 2019

The EU will strive to reach climate neutrality in 2050. Poland was the only country not to sign up for the goal and the discussion on how to get Warsaw on board will resume in June.

Poland is ready if Russia cuts gas transit to the EU across Ukraine this winter

bne IntelliNews December 12, 2019

Poland is ready if Russia cuts gas transit to the EU across Ukraine this winter, oil and gas company PGNIG said in a statement on December 11.

US sanctions cause a storm in Latvia’s ports

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 11, 2019

The Latvian government hastily decided to take over control of the country’s two largest ports in Riga and Ventspils after the US imposed sanctions on leading local businessman Aivars Lembergs.

Hungarian government's controversial culture bill sparks protests

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest December 10, 2019

Sexual harassment case involving a high profile director gave Hungary's right-wing government a pretext to overhaul funding for cultural institutions and increase state control over theatres.

Estonia and Latvia mull 1 GW offshore wind project

bne IntelliNews December 10, 2019

Offshore wind farm to add to low-carbon energy sources in the Estonian and Latvian energy mixes, in line with the EU’s climate goals. Estonia’s electricity production currently relies on burning oil shale and is among the dirtiest in Europe.

Poland launches huge renewable energy auction in bid to improve energy mix

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2019

Polish energy market regulator URE launched an auction for up to 2.5 gigawatts of onshore wind power capacity as Warsaw seeks to meet the EU-required target of a 15% share of renewable energy in final energy consumption by 2020.

Poland’s oil and gas giant Orlen plans takeover of utility Energa

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 6, 2019

PKN Orlen aims to build a strong group capable of competing on the international market, but takeover plans raise questions about Energa’s controversial project to build a major new coal-fired power plant.

Erdogan backs off threat to veto Nato defence plan for Poland, Baltics

bne IntelliNews December 4, 2019

Military bloc’s leaders don’t discuss Turkish leader’s demand for classification of Kurdish militia as “terrorist”. Communique describing “a forward-looking reflection process” appears to give strongman way out of dispute.

Hungarian startup gets funding to enter US meat substitute market

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest December 4, 2019

Plantcraft Innovacios has developed soy, gluten, and additive-free cold cuts using natural plant protein sources. It's now targeting the US where a revolution in plant-based meat substitutes is already underway.

After Polish gold airlift, Slovakia mulls bringing its gold home from London

Nelly Tomchikova in Prague December 4, 2019

Slovakia’s former prime minister and leader of the ruling Smer party Robert Fico has called for Slovakia’s investment gold, stored in the Bank of England, to be brought home.

Estonia’s Coop Pank raises €37.9mn in IPO on local exchange

bne IntelliNews December 3, 2019

Coop Bank sells 71% of offered shares as retail investors help get IPO away despite disappointing response from institutional amid flood of negative news stories on Baltic banking sector.

Hungary takes further steps to strengthen ties with China

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 28, 2019

China is Hungary's largest business partner outside of the EU with bilateral trade rising to $9bn last year, and is set to increase further with the opening of new air links.

IIB’s loan portfolio to exceed €1bn by end of 2019

bne IntelliNews November 26, 2019

International Investment Bank recently moved its headquarters to Budapest, and since then has already increased its loan portfolio by 11% and expanded its investor base.

Hungarian alternative energy company Alteo outlines ambitious growth strategy

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 26, 2019

Alteo's five-year strategy sets out the goal of becoming Hungary's number one industrial energy supplier and reaching a 50% share in renewable sources in district heating.

Czech senator refers CEZ' sale of Varna TPP to Bulgaria’s prosecution

bne IntelliNews November 24, 2019

Lukas Wagenknecht has asked the prosecution in Bulgaria to probe the deal due to suspicions that it was intentionally closed at a price that was not beneficial for state-owned CEZ.

Hungary’s Opus in talks to sell coal-fuelled power plant Matrai Eromu

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 20, 2019

Matrai Eromu has incurred losses due to rising carbon prices, and its future is in danger as a result of tighter rules on carbon-powered plants in the EU.

Hungarian government acknowledges delay at Paks nuclear power plant

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 20, 2019

Budapest seeks to delay repayment of Russian loan for nuclear power plant expansion as new units now not expected to be up and running before 2030.

Czech government approved 7% digital tax for international companies

Nelly Tomchikova in Prague November 20, 2019

Big international companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon are likely to be subject to a new digital tax in the Czech Republic in 2020. The government approved a proposal to introduce a 7% tax on online services.

Poland says key decisions on nuclear power plant just months ahead

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw November 19, 2019

The ruling PiS heralded the construction of up to six nuclear reactors by the 2040s in a move to reduce the dependence of the Polish economy on coal, which currently dominates in the national energy mix.