With Eesti Energia's Iru waste incineration plant planning to import a tenth of the refuse needed to keep the plant running, privately held competitor Ragn-Sells has re-emerged as a vocal critic to the practice of paying the power giant subsidies for co-generation.
Estonia currently has more incinerating capacity than waste. As a result, Eesti Energia has imported 2,400 tons of refuse from Ireland and, starting in September, it will receive 10,000 tons of refuse from Turku, Finland over four months.
Ragn-Sells, which has previously complained to the European Commission over state aid given to Eesti Energia, was unsuccessful in bidding for the Turku contract, reported Postimees.
Iru receives 32 euros per megawatt-hour generated, but a bill is due to be introduced in Parliament that would do away with subsidies for co-generation that also produces residential heat, as Iru does.
"Ragn-Sells believes competition conditions should be equal. If one participant receives subsidies decided with ministry backing, these are not equal," said Agu Remmelg, member of the Ragn-Sells management board.
"It's especially ridiculous when Estonian taxpayers are paying for incineration of Finnish or British waste," he said.
However, Postimees reported that Ragn-Sells did get state assistance for building its own waste incineration facility.