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Development of Belarusian oil processing industry discussed in Novopolotsk

President 07.06.2019 | 15:21
Aleksandr Lukashenko
Aleksandr Lukashenko

NOVOPOLOTSK, 7 June (BelTA) – The strategy of developing the oil processing industry in Belarus was discussed at the session in Novopolotsk on 7 June, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with workers of OAO Naftan, BelTA has learned.

“The main thing that we discussed is the completion of the modernization of two refineries and future prospects,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In his words, the oil refinery in Mozyr will specialize in fuel production. “We will work on oil refining depth, produce light oils. But market is a priority. We can make as much light oils as we want. The main thing is to sell them and meet the consumers' demand,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Besides, we compete with Russia on markets as we buy Russian oil, and we have common markets. It not easy. They have more space for maneuver. They can provide cheaper oil to their refineries and get more profits. They can reduce prices, and we cannot do it.”

“We need to think about further modernization in these conditions,” the Belarusian leader said.

The Novopolotsk-based enterprise Naftan will specialize in the further development of petrochemical production for the needs of other industrial facilities.

Three ways to develop Belarusian oil refinery Naftan under considerationThree ways to develop Belarusian oil refinery Naftan under consideration
Aleksandr Demidov said: “Today we've precisely calculated and are considering three possible variants: fuel production (actually the same we've built already), fuel and petrochemical products, and petrochemical products. We tend to favor the latter. We believe it is the future.”

“When we finish the upgrade of these enterprises this year or at the beginning of 2020, we will decide what to improve and modernize in the future,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state remarked that additional modernization of the petrochemical industry will be required in the future. However, the amount of financing will be much smaller in comparison with the investments which were made in the past couple of years. “We will have to invest in oil refineries to produce in-demand products. Then it will be easier for Naftan,” he said.

Supply of hydrocarbons important for Belarus' independence
“Because one cannot do without fuel these days whatever we may say about the arrival of alternative kinds of fuel, whatever we may say about the construction of the nuclear power plant and our importing 5-6 billion m3 of natural gas less,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that he also plans to visit Mozyr oil refinery. “We will look at the market of oil and oil products at the end of the year. Then we will determine a further strategy for our refineries,” the head of state said.

Addressing Naftan workers, the president stressed that the state will continue supporting the enterprise. At the same time, he warned: “Of course, we will put pressure on you and make you work well. And we will also help you. If you do your best, we will always support you. This is my position, I have been saying this for decades, and you should know it.”

Call to look out for Belarus best interest in oil compensation talks with RussiaCall to look out for Belarus best interest in oil compensation talks with Russia
“No need for extreme measures or pressure. The main thing is to look out for the best interest of the company and the state. No need to kneel begging. You just should address such matters in a business-like manner,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

Lukashenko displeased with sales of Belarusian products abroadLukashenko displeased with sales of Belarusian products abroad
The quality of the product is good, but the marketing effort is inadequate. We need to learn to sell our products. We need to fight for our markets, maintain a foothold there and efficiently sell the products we make, Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is good that Belarus decided to modernize oil refineries before Russia's tax maneuver in the oil industry and other factors having an impact on the development of the industry.

The president also focused on product sales. “We can make high-quality products. Enterprises in Mozyr and Novopolotsk are doing a great job. You produce good fuel and it sells well. But we need to improve sales. So, we discussed our future efforts to improve sales,” the president said. “We need a strong company. Perhaps, we should also modernize the Belarusian Oil Company.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out the need to preserve and develop the social infrastructure of Naftan. “People are the priority for us,” he stressed. “We need to encourage people to stay here. And it depends not only on salaries today.”

Lukashenko: No plans to sell Belarus' key assetsLukashenko: No plans to sell Belarus
The president commented on a common belief that it is impossible to buy big companies in Belarus. “Indeed, it is nearly impossible to privatize what should not be privatized in Belarus. Your company is not slated for privatization,” he said.

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