Eesti Energia Downplays Concerns, Calls Electricity Hike a One-Off ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The price of electricity in the Estonian trading area soared yesterday to a record 103 euros per megawatt hour - twice that of Finland and three times that of Sweden on the same day. Yet Eesti Energia's energy sales production manager, Karla Agan, said consumers shouldn't jump to conclusions based on a single day.

"We are currently dealing with a one-day price change and the overall market rate will be calculated based on the monthly average, so we should not make too big assumptions from one day,” Agan told ETV yesterday. The price dropped to 65 euros on Wednesday.

The Competition Authority said it had conducted a thorough investigation of Eesti Energia's activities to make sure that those in the market were playing by the rules. The agency's director of supervision, Juhan Põldroos, said: "At this point we have not found any violation in the context of this inspection.”

In the long run, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said it hopes prices in Estonia will be tamed after supply is improved with next year's launch of Estlink 2 - the second underwater power cable connecting Estonia and Finland.

"In the long run, integrated electricity markets should ensure a stable market price, so if Estlink 2 is launched at the beginning of next year, it should significantly improve our ties with the Nordic countries and it should ensure that there are not as many of these major price hikes,” said Hando Sutter, head of Nord Pool Spot's Baltic and Russian trading area.

However, an Elektrum spokesman told on Wednesday that, to the contrary, Estlink 2 may actually cause prices to rise in the winter. The Latvian's company's local PR representative, Priit Pruul, said Estlink 2 should improve supply but that prices may rise during colder weather, when more power is exported to Finland.

Officials blamed Tuesday's price hike on power deficits in Latvia and Lithuania, resulting from their reliance on coproduction plants, which produce power and heat together and can't be operated in the summer. Supply has further been strained as a number of plants in Lithuania, Estonia and Finland are undergoing maintenance.

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