The Schwedt oil refinery, owned by the Russian Rosneft Group, has been under federal state control since autumn 2022. Brandenburg’s Prime Minister, Dietmar Woidke (SPD), has expressed concerns about the potential expropriation of the refinery and emphasized the need for a reliable and sustainable ownership structure to secure operations, jobs, and a consistent supply of crude oil products from PCK Schwedt in Brandenburg.
Although a decision regarding the potential expropriation is still pending, the federal government is considering taking action against Rosneft’s shares. Woidke has established a task force to work on the future of the refinery, which includes representatives of the federal government and the company. The energy giant Shell has expressed interest in selling its 37.5 percent stake in the refinery to the British Prax Group, while Eni Germany also holds a stake in the refinery.
It remains unclear what an ownership structure for the refinery should look like without Russian influence. However, as sanctions imposed because of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine have led to a halt of the use of Russian oil, crude oil from Schwedt has been sourced from alternative routes since 2023. The plant in Uckermark supplies large parts of northeast Germany with fuel. Jörg Steinbach (SPD), Brandenburg’s Economics Minister, has refrained from commenting on the matter but emphasizes that his top priority is to ensure that workers at Schwedt continue to receive their wages and benefits during this time of uncertainty.
The Kremlin in Moscow has declared that Rosneft would take action to prevent expropriation and would explore all legal options. Woidke believes that it is essential for Germany to find a solution that respects both German law and international law while also ensuring that PCK Schwedt remains operational and profitable in Brandenburg. He urges caution before making any decisions about ownership changes or expropriation proceedings