30 gas stations would stay open in case of blackouts in Estonia

Gas prices.
Gas prices. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Thirty gas stations in Estonia would be able to stay open in the event of electricity blackouts as they have their own backup power supplies. Providers of vital services are expected to stock up on generators and fuel tanks.

Iivi Luuk, strategy manager at the Estonian Stockpiling Agency, said fuel sellers are required to supply at least one gas station with autonomous power sources in three counties. At least one must be in Tallinn or Harju County.

In the event of a major power cut, they must be operational within 15 minutes, Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

"At the moment, if I'm not mistaken, there are eight gasoline companies that provide such petrol stations, that is, that are listed as vital service providers, that have at least 10 petrol stations across Estonia and they are in at least three counties," she said.

Additionally, providers must have 30,000 liters of diesel fuel and at least 15,000 liters of gasoline fuel in reserve.

"Should no more fuel come into the country, the country will have a relatively good fuel reserve by international standards, i.e. 90 days' supply, and the picture there is also quite good," Luuk said.

But these services are not spread evenly across the country.

For example, no gas stations in Narva have their own autonomous energy sources although some of them have generator capacity. If a blackout occurs, the hospital will need to get its fuel from Jõhvi, 50 kilometers away.

Priit Saar, the head of the crisis management department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, said vital services providers must have some kind of backup power source and plans in place.

The most sensible thing is to have a contract with a fuel carrier, he said, adding the western city of Haapsalu already has an agreement in place.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright

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