Companies planning new oil shale mines in Ida-Viru County

Work taking place at Kiviõli quarry.
Work taking place at Kiviõli quarry. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

Preparations are underway by several companies to open new shale oil mines in Estonia's most eastern region, Ida-Viru County, in the coming years.

Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) has completed the most work so far and plans to share the Uus-Kiviõli (New-Kiviõli) extraction site with Enefit Power.

VKG's Ojamaa mine, which opened in 2009, will be exhausted by the end of the decade.

"We are currently actively planning and preparing to put this [new] mine into operation. It is located four to five kilometers from the current Ojamaa complex. This new mine is expected to be fully operational in 2028 after Ojamaa is exhausted," VKG manager Ahti Asmann told Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Alexela Group's Kiviõli Keemiatööstus (KKT) also wants to expand its Põhja Kiviõli (North Kiviõli) mine.

However, locals in Lüganuse Municipality are pushing back on the plans and the local council did not grant permission for the exploration of mineral resources in the area.

The company wants to know if, and how much, expansion will be possible in the coming years.

"We need to have a clear idea of whether we can continue with the existing quarry or whether we will need to buy shale from others to keep our own production going, which is unlikely to be an option that would be economically viable for us," said KKT head Priit Orumaa.

Eesti Energia's subsidiary Enefit Power is not planning to open new mines before 2035. It currently operates the Narva quarry and the Estonia mine.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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