Eesti Energia wants to build €280 million methanol plant in Ida-Viru County

Eesti Energia.
Eesti Energia. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

As part of Ida-Viru County's plans for transition to a sustainable economy, Estonia's state-owned energy group Eesti Energia is seeking to build a methanol production complex in the county with an estimated cost of €280 million.

In an overview of Eesti Energia's development projects sent to Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center), Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) and the Ida-Viru County local government's association, Margus Vals, board member of Eesti Energia, said that Estonia already has experience with the pyrolysis technology.

"By making use of this experience and developing it further, a modern methanol production complex could be built in Ida-Viru County for the purpose of reprocessing gases generated in the pyrolysis process," Vals said.

The complex, developed in cooperation with the Viru College of Tallinn University of Technology and other oil shale companies, would allow the production of formaldehyde, which in turn is required for the production of polymers and other chemical industry raw material.

The complex would provide employment to hundreds of people and the project would contribute to the preservation of around 1,000 jobs at a cross-sectoral level, Eesti Energia said. 

Other major development projects include the construction of an oil shale gasoline processing complex and post-processing plant, which would enable to refine fuel into higher-quality raw material for the chemical industry in the expectation of fuel quality requirements getting stricter. The construction of the complex would cost €150-€250 million.

The main positive impact of the project would be the preservation of jobs and potentially creating hundreds of new jobs during the production assets' construction period. In a subsequent operation, the units would provide employment for around 20 people.

Eesti Energia also seeks to increase the biomass burning capacity at its Auvere power plant and in the 11th unit of its Balti power plant to 100 percent. The company said that creating green hydrogen production capability will also become feasible in 2024.

According to Eesti Energia, the projects would have an impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, support the preservation of jobs and creation of new jobs in sectors relating to biomass collection and processing. Raising capacity at the company's Auvere plant would cost €60-€80 million and at the Balti power plant €50-€80 million.

Eesti Energia also seeks to develop test equipment for converting the Enefit oil production complex into a recovery facility for scrap tires and plastic, and to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of its existing power plants and oil factories. The cost of the projects would be €22 million and up to €10 million, respectively.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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