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Secure cooling water access for Narva power plants will be built this year

Narva Reservoir.
Narva Reservoir. Source: Marko Vainu

Minister of Economic Affairs Riina Sikkut (SDE) said that a temporary solution for providing cooling water to Narva power stations is ready and that a longer-term solution should be ready later this year.

By opening the Narva reservoir's locks, Russia can lower the Narva River's water level, shutting down Narva's oil shale power plants if they did not receive enough cooling water.

"If Russia can control the water level, an autonomous solution to supply security is needed: one is a short-term or emergency solution that can be implemented right away and Eesti Energia has confirmed that it is available," Sikkut said.

As a temporary solution, an open cooling system would be converted into a closed system in order to keep a portion of the Narva stations operational.

Long-term, Eesti Energia plans to build a dam network. The original plan called for the solution to be completed in two years but guidelines issued last fall shifted the deadline to as soon as possible.

The new solution will be ready this year, Sikkut said. "The earlier the better. Instead of the multi-year time-frame previously discussed, it will be ready this year."

The government has instructed Eesti Energia to develop the solution, but the company is covering its own expenses. Sikkut said that the government cannot advise Eesti Energia on the best technical solution or its cost.

Previously, the minister indicated that the amount was in the tens of millions of euros.

"At the government level, we have not considered the technical details of what to build, how high to build and so on. This is not a political issue and so no directive has been issued by the government, but a solution must be found as soon as possible," Sikkut said.

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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