Eesti Energia plans to use green funds to convert plant for wood burning

Enefit Power.
Enefit Power. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Eesti Energia wants to use money from the EU's green transition fund to convert part of its Baltic power plant (BPP) to burn waste wood products. This will reduce district heating prices in Narva and secure Estonia's electricity supply, it said.

On Monday, the European Commission approved Estonia's plan and €354 million funding. This money will be used to support green and transitional projects in Ida-Viru County.

Andres Vainola, head of subsidiary Enefit Power, said the company has applied to the fund to finance the conversation of the BPP's block 11 and several other projects.

If OK'ed, it will provide Narva residents with cheaper and reliable long-term district heating.

"But secondly, block 11 of the Baltic power plant is very important from the point of view of security of supply of electricity production in Estonia. Elering's security of supply report also sees a place for Block 11 of the Baltic power plant beyond 2030," he said.

It will also have a knock-on effect on the neighboring industrial park.

Enefit Power CEO Andres Vainola. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

"As part of this activity, we want to develop energy-intensive manufacturing in cooperation with partners — whether it's Silmet's cooperation with Neo Materials' magnetic materials plant, for example, or the production of calcium carbonate with Ragn-Sells — we are developing the backbone of the industrial park next to the Baltic Power Plant," he said.

Oil shale mining continues at same volume until 2035

Eesti Energia plans to stop mining shale oil by 2040 and to stop using the resource for electricity production by 2035. Until then, mining volumes will remain at today's level.

"Three or four years ago we were extracting 16-17 million tonnes of oil shale [per year]. This year, it will probably be somewhere between 6-7 million tonnes. And in the future, those volumes will remain around 7-8 million tonnes a year, maybe a little bit more or less, but not more than that," Vainola said.

He could not say how big the need for oil shale would be after that time.

The company is moving towards the chemical industry in the long run and Enefit is constructing a chemical plant that should be finished by 2024.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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