200 miners laid off as energy prices plummet
State-owned energy giant Eesti Energia has announced its plan to let go 200 miners by the end of the year, citing falling oil and energy prices and the adaption on more effective mining technology as the main reason behind the redundancies.
According to Europe's leading power market Nord Pool Spot, the market price of energy in June was the lowest it has ever been in Estonia – 27.26 euros per megawatt hour, which is 15.60 percent less than in May.
The company's CEO Andres Vainola said Eesti Energia is reverting back to a 5-day working week from a currently used 6-day week, implemented two years ago, and this inevitably brings about forced redundancies.
About half of those to be let go will retire. The company plans to set up a support fund to find new employment for the others.
Eesti Energia is also investing over 21 million euros into a new, more cost-effective mining technology that will become operational in 2016. It is hoped that the improved methodology will allow the company to mine up to 3,000 more tons of oil shale in a day by the end of 2016.
In 2014, the 2,600 miners employed by Eesti Energia mined a total of 16,5 million tons of oil shale.