Estonia's largest energy consumer halts production over prices
Aspen pulp maker Estonian Cell is temporarily halting production due to high market price of energy, Delfi's Ärileht reports.
The company said that it has decided to suspend production from December 22 to January 5.
Estonian Cell CFO Siiri Lahe said that no industrial company could have been prepared for the spike in the price of energy delivered in August. "It is impossible to have the end consumer pay the price in any European country," she suggested.
She said that the price of electricity has grown from €30-50 per megawatt-hour last decade to €330/MWh in December this year, with January hardly looking any better. "No analyst's worst-case scenario predicted such prices as recently as a year ago."
Lahe said that the price of energy makes up 35-50 percent of Estonian Cell's production expenses, with the price of firewood and pulp wood also up.
The CFO said that low-quality firewood and pulp wood cost more in Estonia than they do in Finland or Sweden, which, coupled with soaring energy prices, have seriously eroded its competitive ability.
Employees will be sent on vacation or reassigned to service and maintenance work.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski