Piotr Szewczyk
CEO
APS Energia

16 April 2020

APS Energia is a Polish manufacturer of a wide spectrum of power applications for production, heating, telecommunications, medicine and other sectors of the economy. Established in 1995, it employs 330 people in Poland and around 130 more across Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Czechia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. 

You are among the co-founders of a local company that attained international success - what led to the establishment of APS Energia?

The company was established in 1995. Before, the company's founders, including myself, used to work at the Warsaw University of Technology and at the Aachen University in Germany. When we came back to Poland and were working as university professors assistants, we were not paid much and started producing PVD (physical vapor deposition) devices for plasma coating in low-temperature high vacuum. In 1996, we started providing power supply systems for energy, oil and gas, metallurgy, and chemical sectors. 

Currently we mostly serve the energy sector, renewables, energy storage systems, and e-mobility. Since 2013 we have been developing our traction and transportation division, producing power supply systems for railway engines, trams, metro, trains, and buses. We see great potential in the nuclear energy sector, for which we are constantly developing solutions.

Do you see renewables as playing a major role in Poland's ongoing energy transition? 

 

My opinion regarding renewables is a little unorthodox. I believe that unfortunately, in many cases the public does not receive complete information from the industry and experts.

The effects produced by renewables are eco-friendly, but the production of renewable energy systems is not. Of course, an electric car does not cause emissions in itself but the production of that car comes with a big carbon footprint. 

 

I believe that what can save humankind by mastering the nuclear fusion process, which would allow us to have free and clean energy. I also want to emphasize that countries that use coal, including Poland, produce electric energy in an advanced, fairly eco-friendly way. We have for example desulfurization and dust extraction systems in place.

If not from renewables, where do you think the energy should come from, or what do you see as a more immediate solution? 

It should be stated that the production of coal-powered energy or gas in Poland happens in a fairly eco-friendly way already. At the same time, I am not a supporter of coal-powered energy, instead I am a proponent of nuclear energy plants in Poland, as the cleanest energy source we could get our hands on. APS and numerous companies in Europe have technological solutions to progress in this direction, but it all is in the hands of politicians and ministries to come up with the right kind of legal framework that would foster the transition to clean energy. 

Not many local companies have expanded so widely outside of Poland’s borders, to what to you warrant your international success?

We started out by selling plasma coating technology, for which Poland did not have the market at that time. We exported 100% of our production – to Japan, to the United States, Korea, China, Switzerland, Holland, France Germany and Czechia. In 2007, we sold this branch of our activity to a leading multinational corporation. We invested the proceeds from that transaction into the development of our power supply and emergency power supply division.

In 2008 we became a corporate group, and in the same year, we opened companies in Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and bought Enap SA, a Polish service and production company that provides services to energy and chemical sectors. Later, we opened companies in Czechia, in Ukraine, and then Turkey. We also conduct direct business activity in Australia, Uzbekistan, Central Asia, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Balkans. This was possible because we saw the market needs and were not afraid to go above and beyond. In 2013 we debuted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW).

This is a really impressive story – do you have any plans in progress regarding your international presence?

Indeed, we have strong ambitions! We want to grow our presence in the Russian market, which is 15 times bigger than the Polish market. From the moment when we started until now, we have been one of the top three companies in our sector. In the near future, we plan on opening two new companies – one in Atlanta in the United States, and another one in Egypt, where our production hub for the Middle East and Africa will be based.

Nowadays we are facing crisis with COVID-10 worldwide. What is your forecast, how will it affect your company, in the short and even long term?

 

Thanks to the implemented procedures, the operations of the APS Energia Group companies are not disturbed. Nevertheless, we are aware of the fact that its impact on the achievement of the goals adopted for 2020 and subsequent years can be significant, but the assessment of this impact is currently impossible to scale.

 

It is worth emphasizing that we work for sectors that are strategic for the economy - energy, the oil and gas supply industry, and railways. Our clients cannot suspend operations, which is why we also work and supply our products.

What is your vision for APS Energia for the coming years, and your personal goals? 

Having just celebrated the 25 years of our company, I am keeping an open approach for the best way forward. Although the Russian market still has enormous potential, we initiate direct, subcontracted sales in Asia, the Middle East and North America. We are working on further diversification of sales into further geographical markets. We participate in several large projects, including from the nuclear energy industry, where we intend to strengthen our position and expand our product offer.

My general vision is to leave behind a decent world for my children. To finish with a story, the president of Eritrea, a Maoist, works in the forest two days a week and does not have running water nor electricity at his presidential residence. Perhaps we should remember what matters and use our limited resources wisely. .

 

 

 

 

 

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