According to Ministry of the Environment figures, 10.7 million tons of oil shale were mined in Estonia last year, marking the highest volume of oil shale mined in the past three years. More than half, or 6.2 million tons, was mined by Enefit Power, a subsidiary of the Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia.
Of underground mines, Enefit Power's Estonia and Ahtme II mines produced the most oil shale last year, accounting for a total of 4.39 tons of mined oil shale.
Another 1.2 million and 662,000 tons of oil shale, respectively, were mined at Enefit Power's Narva and Sirgala quarries.
A combined 3.4 million tons of oil shale was mined at Ojamaa mine allotments belonging to Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG), while another 937,600 tons of oil shale were mined at the Põhja-Kiviõli II quarry owned by Kiviõli Keemiatööstus, a member of Alexela Group.
Another 84,000 tons of kukersite, a type of marine oil shale, was mined at the Kunda Nordic Tsement-owned Ubja quarry in Lääne-Viru County last year.
Oil shale mining in Estonia is capped at 20 million tons a year. Prior to last year's 10.7 million, total oil shale mining volumes in the previous two years both likewise fell short of annual caps at 9.21 million tons in 2021 and 9.19 million tons in 2020.
According to Enefit Power and Kiviõli Keemiatööstus forecasts, based on the current market situation, both companies intend to mine even bigger volumes of oil shale this year than last.
VKG, meanwhile, noted that their mining volumes aren't projected to change much, as they have already been mining their maximum permitted volumes at Ojamaa mine.
Editor: Aili Vahtla