On 21st of June Lidija Lubienė, the Chair of the Board of ACHEMOS GRUPĖ and CEO Linas Sabaliauskas met with the Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. The aim of the meeting was to draw the Minister’s attention to the situation in which one of the largest domestic industrial enterprises AB Achema currently finds itself, and discuss the measures that would help the factory to survive in a difficult period and be competitive in the long-term perspective. The leaders also request that the Minister would pay attention to the costs of energy projects implemented by the state the burden of which on industrial enterprises becomes unbearable.
“We did not hear the answer of the Minister of Energy whether LNG terminal is an economic or political project? We want to familiarise ourselves with the detailed figures and plans and then decide whether the Group of companies ACHEMOS GRUPĖ is participating in the redemption of the LNG vessel or not. A 40% tax reduction announced does not salvage Achema. The law on fertilizers has not been adopted yet and it is unclear whether the Lithuanian market will be protected, the constantly changing tax, EA policy, hasty assumed commitments transfer the tax burden on future generations. We do not participate in politics, we only think about today situation of our companies. It is complicated and will affect not only AB Achema, but also a number of other companies of the Group that are associated with the largest nitrogen fertilizer plant with synergy links,” said Lidija Lubienė, the Chair of the Board of UAB koncernas ACHEMOS GRUPĖ.
“The impression is that there is manipulation with figures. The Ministry of Energy is considering only one part of the tax of LNG terminal (LNG vessel), and taxing of the whole infrastructure remains unclear. Therefore, today we cannot respond to the Minister’s proposals, which do not disclose other sizes of constituents of total tax. According to our calculations based on the model provided by the Ministry of Energy, the tax reduction will be only 25% from EUR 87.3 million to EUR 67 million rather than 40% publicly announced. We suggest finding a way to reduce the total tax of LNG terminal falling on everyone to EUR 20 million per year, and in the short perspective – to include EUR 12 million paid by Achema for 2013, when the services were not being received from the LNG terminal,” said Linas Sabaliauskas, CEO of UAB koncernas ACHEMOS GRUPĖ.
According to Mr Sabaliauskas, once again several possible solutions to the problems were presented to the Minister for Energy. Firstly, it is necessary to revise schemes for financing the energy projects by allocating the energy independence burden on a wider range of real beneficiaries. The company also proposes to provide for the possibility of adjusting the sizes and procedure for collection of the taxes of LNG terminal and PICS.
“By implementing similar energy projects, progressive states seek to ease the tax burden on their chemical industry companies, and in our case, on the contrary, all costs are imposed on industrial enterprises. This policy of our state is a clear “sawing off the branch on which it is sitting”, so please assess the negative impact of state policy being created in the energy sector on Lithuanian industry companies and find possible measures to reduce it,” said Mr Sabaliauskas.
During the period from 2013 to 2017, AB Achema has already paid EUR 96.9 million (EUR 80.1 of LNG and EUR 16.8 of PICS) extra state fees for energy projects, thereby losing the opportunity to invest in the renovation, upgrading and competitiveness of fertilizer production equipment.
In 2017, AB Achema paid EUR 20 million of the LNG terminal tax, the biggest share of which went to the LNG terminal operator AB Klaipėdos Nafta. AB Klaipėdos Nafta paid out EUR 17 million of dividends to its shareholders for the year 2017.