The Environmental Board has authorized Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit Power to use shale oil in the 11th block of Balti Power Plant through the end of April 2023 in order to heat Narva, Estonia's third largest city.
Eesti Energia communications director Kristina Kostina told ERR that the company intends to start producing hot water for district heating company Narva Soojusvõrk using shale oil.
"As hot water-related maintenance scheduled to be completed today is currently underway in Narva, we can start using shale oil today already to provide Narva residents with hot water," Kostina said.
"This is also a matter of price — shale oil is cheaper than natural gas," she continued. "And this will provide all Narva residents with the security of knowing that they won't end up left without hot water."
According to the communications director, the authorization to use shale oil will also provide residents of the border city with a sense of security heading into the upcoming heating period as well.
"As we know, the City of Narva has already declared a state of emergency, but thankfully this authorization has now been issued," Kostina said.
Enefit Power CEO Andres Vainola told ERR on Tuesday that following an official decision, the company could switch over from natural gas to shale oil in a matter of hours. This would slash the price of heating for consumers by more than half.
Renovations began on Balti Power Plant's 11th block on July 16 due to which Narva residents have been without district-heated hot water for the past week. The company is prepared to begin heating the city using shale oil immediately.
Editor: Aili Vahtla