City of Narva declares state of emergency over natural gas

Narva City Hall.
Narva City Hall. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Following a failed natural gas procurement, the City of Narva on Friday opted to declare a state of emergency, which will allow for gas heating to be replaced by more polluting energy sources.

A natural gas procurement organized by Enefit Power, which provides heat to Estonia's third-largest city, failed due to a lack of bidders. A state of emergency will allow the city to request authorization from the Environmental Board to switch to other energy sources, i.e. heat the city using shale oil.

"Having heard out the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Environmental Board, and Enefit Power too, of course, we have in our discussions reached the conclusion that a state of emergency should be declared right now," Narva Mayor Katri Raik (SDE) said on Friday, adding that the city is preparing for a difficult fall and winter.

"Enefit Power has to contact the Environmental Board and seek permission to use shale oil if necessary instead of natural gas," Raik said. "I hope that, taking all arguments as well as the City of Narva's position and concern into consideration, the Environmental Board will grant this permission as well."

The mayor noted that the matter of price is crucial to the city, and that according to Enefit Power's calculations, heating the city with shale oil would cost just one third of what gas would.

"In the case of natural gas, we need to take into consideration that we don't know how the gas would reach Narva; in the case of shale oil, we need to take into consideration that Enefit Power has to stockpile shale oil," Raik explained. "So now is the right time to think ahead to fall and winter."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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