Energy Forum: Even Oil Shale Power Depends Indirectly on Russia for Cooling Water ({{commentsTotal}})

Although much attention has been focused on reliance on Russian gas recently, even generation of electricity from Estonia's most strategic natural resource would be crippled if Russia cut off the supply of cooling water to the northeastern plants.

The Energy Forum is an annual event that wasn't supposed to focus on the geopolitical risks, Eesti Energia CEO Sandor Liive said, but talk turned to the risks involved in oil shale, and not just the environmental ones.

Russia controls the locks in the Narva city reservoir, which supplies cooling water to the power plants that generate the majority of Estonia's power.

Liive said it wouldn't be in anyone's interests, not even those of Russia, to let the water out. But if the water level should fall, for whatever reason, one option would be to establish extremely powerful pumping stations.

"We have weighed this option," Liive told Uudis+ on ERR radio. "We have not made the investment decision to this point." But if the risk scenario became more likely, the decision could be made, he added.