PKN ORLEN looking to issue sustainability bonds

​PKN ORLEN is planning to issue bonds worth up to PLN 1bn by the end of this year. The proceeds may be applied to fund, among other things, some of the capital projects undertaken to advance the Company’s 2050 carbon neutrality strategy. For this reason, PKN ORLEN is considering to incorporate ESG aspects into the bonds, based on the rating of the issuer’s commitment to sustainable development and corporate responsibility.

“There is no turning back from the energy transition. However, we view this inevitable process not only as a challenge, but also as a development opportunity. We were Central Europe’s first oil refiner to present a concrete plan of achieving a zero carbon footprint by 2050 and have remained consistently on track. We are on a stable financial footing, which is being strengthened further, for instance by diversifying our revenue sources. We are also keeping an eye on the market, looking for potential opportunities to raise funds on favourable terms. As announced, we want to focus, among other things, on sustainability bonds, hence our plans to incorporate ESG themes into our bonds issue,” says Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.

PKN ORLEN’s plans include issuing bearer bonds with a five-year maturity on the Polish market. Targeted at institutional investors, the issue would be carried out under the agreement for the Company’s existing domestic bond programme, which is now being reconceived. One of the elements under consideration is to provide for the issue of ESG-themed bonds, based on the rating of the issuer’s commitment to sustainable development and responsible business.

The issue of such bonds would be subject to relevant corporate approvals, as well as appropriate conditions prevailing in the debt securities market.

PKN ORLEN strives to achieve maximum environmental neutrality, energy efficiency and superior safety standards. Its expanding ESG competencies are reflected in the 2020 rating upgrade from Sustainalytics. PKN ORLEN ranked fifth among 86 Oil & Gas Refining and Marketing companies (in the Refiners & Pipelines category). The Company was promoted from the high risk category in 2019 to the medium risk category, which means it is at medium risk of experiencing financial impacts from ESG factors.

Sustainability and corporate responsibility are also prominent aspects of the Company’s carbon neutrality strategy until 2050. To further this strategic vision, at the beginning of September 2020 PKN ORLEN stated its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions from its existing refining and petrochemical assets by 20% and from electricity generation by 33% per MWh by 2030. Projects implemented under the carbon neutrality strategy are expected to be partly financed through green and sustainable bonds issued by PKN ORLEN on the European capital market.