Industrial parks in eastern Estonia are seeking European Union funding to help further their development which has stalled due to the energy crisis and Russia's war in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, the EU agreed on the terms of Estonia's Just Transition Fund for green development. Enterprises in Narva, Narva, Jõhvi and Kohtla-Järve are looking to the €354 million fund to see if it can help them.
The industrial parks have stopped all development projects related to Russia and few western companies are interested in investing. Estonia's high energy prices make the country less competitive than Scandinavia.
It is currently hoped subsidies and lower local electricity prices can cover some of the losses, said Teet Kuusmik, head of the Ida-Viru Investment Agency.
"In the Kohtla-Järve Industrial Park and the Narva Industrial Park, we have the opportunity to offer companies the possibility to buy electricity directly from the producer via a direct line, without network charges. Based on a company operating 24/7 in three shifts, the savings in electricity prices are around 30 percent," he told Friday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".
However, the parks expect EU funding to have a bigger impact and be suitable for companies with lower electricity consumption.
"The total volume of the measure is €153 million and the support will be up to 65 percent of the investments. If an investment of €10 million is now made in Ida-Viru County, the savings will be €6.5 million," Kuusmik said.
There are 20 companies providing almost 1,000 jobs in total at industrial parks in Ida-Viru, Narva, Jõhvi and Kohtla-Järve.
It is thought that investment support will bring another 25 companies to the region over the next five years.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera