National stockpile center to start operation from Thursday
The Estonian Stockpile Center, which will manage the stockpiling and storage of vital goods necessary for emergencies and take care of organizing their use, will start operating from July.
"We have set ourselves the goal of being better prepared for crises than before," Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said in a press release, adding that one step to do so is to bring vital stocks under one roof so that they can be procured and stored efficiently.
"At the same time, crisis resolution will never become a state monopoly alone, the success of risk prevention and overcoming supply difficulties lies in well-thought-out public-private partnerships," the minister said.
The Stockpile Center managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is the successor to the current Oil Stockpiling Agency (OSPA) and will manage not only the fuel stockpile but also the stocks of food, medicines and personal protective equipment, for example.
In addition to stockpiling, the Stockpile Center provides cooperation to strategically important producers of goods to increase business continuity by helping to build up additional raw material or other production stocks, strengthens critical infrastructure and logistics, and conducts crisis exercises. Entrepreneurs will also be involved and the best solutions for stockpiling and logistics will be developed together.
When creating stocks, the first preference is to use delegated stock contracts, where a private company stores goods needed by the state, the costs of purchase, storage and renewal of which are covered by the state. The delegated stock must be available at all times and the Stockpile Center has the right to buy it out in the event of a crisis on the basis of an agreed pricing model or to allow the company to use the stock to meet demand.
Priit Enok, current head of OSPA, said that OSPA has good experience in how to contribute to security of fuel supply as a state-owned company. "As a result of COVID-19, governments in many countries have begun to expand the role of their stockpile agencies. Our goal is to move from the political planning stage to the implementation of the new security of supply agenda without undue delay and to grow from a single-issue agency to one that ensures the continuity of activities in different areas," he added.
There will be no changes regarding fuel for the current OSPA contract partners, among other things, the company's commercial register code and requisite information will remain the same. OSPA was established 15 years ago to store liquid fuel stocks and ensure security of supply.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste