CEO: No problems with Elektrilevi being part of Eesti Energia

Andrus Durejko.
Andrus Durejko. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

National energy giant Eesti Energia's net profit nearly doubled in Q1 year-over-year, with foreign sales, renewables and the distribution business the major contributors. Eesti Energia CEO Andrus Durejko does not understand the government's plan of separating DSO Elektrilevi and oil shale mining from the group.

While Eesti Energia's sales revenue grew by just 2 percent on year during the same period, its net profit jumped from €77.2 million to €142.6 million. This in a situation where energy generation fell by 4 percent and total sales volume by 6 percent.

"Our area of activity is considerably broader, we also have a renewable energy company, the distribution system and retail business. All of these other businesses have done brilliantly. We have also managed to make some excellent financial risk calls, which have made sure even [oil shale company] Enefit Power has survived the recent difficult period well," Eesti Energia CFO Marlen Tamm said.

The group's new CEO Andrus Durejko said that Eesti Energia is facing major challenges in the field of oil shale this year to ensure power supply security of 1,000 megawatts.

"Our [oil shale] power plants cannot compete anymore. Therefore, the focus is on renewables. We will be boosting that stake, investing in grid reliability and renewable energy production," Durejko said.

Estonia's ruling coalition wants to separate distribution system operator Elekrilevi and oil shale mining operations from Eesti Energia. Durejko said that what the government aims to achieve with this remains unclear.

"If there is a plan somewhere to ensure supply security and grid operation, I would very much like to hear and discuss it. However, I see no problems with Eletkrilevi working inside Eesti Energia. Therefore, I would say it is not necessary to separate Elektrilevi from Eesti Energia," Durejko said.

"Estonia has had a separate oil shale resource company in the past, and the question is once again what would going back to it solve. There is active cross-usage of oil shale between market participants today – we are trading oil shale amongst ourselves. The question is what does the owner want to achieve with this," Durejko said when asked whether an oil shale firm should be separated from Eesti Energia.

Estonia's Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev (Reform) said that the coalition has set such a goal for itself, which can be achieved in different ways. "What that path will be, how it will happen exactly requires more detail than an interview could convey. We need to look at the meat of it and then decide," he said.

The minister said that the document outlining the owner's expectations for Eesti Energia could be completed by this fall.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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