Energy industry layoffs more severe than predicted
Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) said it will make more than the initially announced 200 people redundant due to low oil prices and the high price of oil shale rock.
The company said in December it will lay off around 200 people as the price of oil has halved since summer and the oil shale rock which VKG buys from state-owned Eesti Energia has become too expensive, Põhjarannik reported.
VKG sacked 76 people in December, temporarily closing two shale oil plants.
Priit Rohumaa, the CEO, said the company must press ahead with cost-cutting measures as oil prices keep falling. “It is clear now that we will send hundreds of people home.”
As late as mid-November, VKG was petitioning the government to increase its annual mining quotas from 2.7 million tons to 4.3 million and said it is reconsidering plans to build a shale oil refinery.