In an online discussion, I asked the CEO of Unipetrol, a large Czech petrochemical and oil-distributing company owned by Polish PKN Orlen, about the impact of carbon regulation on their business. Here is the question and the answer.
LM: Good afternoon, up to what extent will Unipetrol be affected by global efforts to regulate carbon emissions and what do you think about the Kyoto protocol and similar policies?
François Vleugels: We have an extensive program underway to analyze our energy need-and-efficiency and develop a strategy that will address these questions. Basically, we assume that the post-Kyoto EU measures will be challenged and that common sense will prevail. What we try to do is to minimize our usage of energy, improve the efficiency of our energy production, and look at the combined impact of energy feedstock cost, feedstock availability/security, and carbon emission taxation to come to the 'right answer'. We clearly need extensive dialogue with the policy makers in Prague and Brussels to come to the right formula of 'preserving the world' and preserving our ability to be competitive.