Estonian Cell Opens €11M Biogas Plant ({{commentsTotal}})

The Kunda-based aspen wood pulp company Estonian Cell opened Estonia's largest biogas production complex, which the company says will allow the country to reduce the amount of natural gas purchased from Russia by one-third.

The company was founded eight years ago but has racked up 22 million euros in losses in recent years. The 11-million-euro investment into the facility opened Thursday is one survival strategy, as it could cut the company's expenses on natural gas by 2 million euros, ETV reported.

Alfred Heinzel, who represents the Heinzel Group, Estonian Cell's parent company, said that Estonia's economic environment was challenging - income tax was non-existent on reinvested profits, but other taxes are high.

"The excise on energy carriers, renewable energy charge and electricity transmission fee are much higher than elsewhere in Europe," he said.

He said Estonia doesn't have energy price subsidies for large industry, unlike elsewhere in Europe.

Heinzel also said the company has considered generating its own electricity, but the break-even point would be too far in the future.