New mining bill could restore 300 jobs ({{commentsTotal}})

Mining of oil shale
Mining of oil shale Source: Photo: Pärnu Postimees / Scanpix

Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG), the largest private mining and energy giant in Estonia, said it will restore 300 jobs it cut this year if a bill on mining quotas is passed.

The bill in question, proposed by the Parliament's Environment Committee, would allow companies to use up mining quotas left untouched since 2009. Currently Eesti Energia, the state-owned competitor of VKG, has been granted the vast majority of the 20-million tons of oil shale annual mining rights, although it leaves much of that unmined. VKG, which has a much smaller share of the annual quota, could then be allowed to mine the untouched oil shale rock.

Between 2009-2014 around 24 million tons of the rock has been left unmined.

VKG said in January it will lay off more than 200 people due to the low price of oil and high price of oil shale rock. VKG mines oil shale rock itself, but buys a great deal from Eesti Energia.

VKG chairman Priit Rohumaa told Postimees it can open one shale oil plant in a month and a second plant in three to five months if his company is allowed to mine more oil shale rock.

Editor: J.M. Laats



Opinion
Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.