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Liive: Eesti Energia ditched nuclear plant plans for shale oil

The state-owned energy giant's plan to construct a nuclear power plant was abandoned for a number of reasons, but mainly to focus on shale oil production, which is more prosperous, says outgoing CEO Sandor Liive.

“Firstly, the whole nuclear plant project in Finland [Olkiluoto], which was supposed to be a great example for us, got sidetracked and is still not complete. The second reason is the catastrophe at the Fukushima plant, which made investing in nuclear power plants more expensive due to increased safety requirements. The third reason – our priority was to do it in Lithuania. That project is still alive, although (initially) it did not amount to anything,” Liive told ERR radio.

“The main reason is that we, Eesti Energia, have a better plan,” he said, adding that the focus now is to extract the maximum from oil shale rock.

For that oil shale rock will be turned into shale oil, and electricity will be produced from the byproduct.

“We have the opportunity to double the efficiency of the whole oil shale rock industry in the next 10 years and with half the environmental impact. That means energy independence, jobs and decent income for the owner - the state,” Liive said.

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