Mere: Prime minister may not have had complete picture of Eesti Energia

Anne Mere.
Anne Mere. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) may not have had a full understanding of Eesti Energia's inner workings when she accused the company of delaying the emergency delivery of cooling water to the Narva power plants, Anne Mere, the board chair of Eesti Energia, said.

"This is not right; the initial activities, the studies, began in March," she said, "and these procedures were extensive."

In response to Kallas' claim that the company failed to provide cooling water, Mere said on "Terevision" on Friday, "I am not saying the prime minister made false statements but she might not have had the full picture. I can confirm that Eesti Energia has taken action, that the so-called rapid fix has been completed and tested, and that the solution will be ready by the end of the year, as agreed," she said.

Mere went on to say that the difference in perspectives between the government and the company's supervisory board is due to the fact that, while the supervisory board is intimately familiar with Eesti Energia's operations and internal life, government's critical assessments of the company's performance may be based on fragmentary information.

"Everyone is entitled to an judgment, and we always pay close attention to what Eesti Energia's shareholders disapprove or appreciate. Similarly, when the minister of finance [who is the chair of Eesti Energia's general assembly - ed.] sent us a letter, we met right away to discuss these issues," she said.

Mere also said that the seven members of Eesti Energia's supervisory board are senior executives with extensive expertise in energy, oil shale chemistry and cyber security. "We have spent a significant amount of time in the field: in mines, customer service, energy sales and Elektrilevi [Eesti Energia subsidiary - ed]. We meet once a month to go over all of the figures and results, both negative and positives, which is essentially required for understanding the company's performance and determining where improvements can be made. The board of directors has a thorough understanding and overview of the company's long-term objectives and results," she said.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Kallas criticized Eesti Energia's management, citing the provision of cooling water for the Narva power plants as an example of negligence. "The government decided to limit these risks in March. We delegated the decision to Eesti Energia but nothing had been accomplished by August. We [the government - ed.] are completely dissatisfied with Eesti Energia's management in so many of these cases. How can we award a bonus to the board if they did not complete the assigned tasks?" she said.

On Friday, Mere defended the salary of the outgoing board members, who had been in office for eight years, saying that the board decided to pay them in February based on the achievement of the company's goals, "based on facts and a comprehensive view."


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Editor: Mait Ots, Kristina Kersa

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