The Enefit 280 oil shale production plant being built by state electricity generator Eesti Energia at Auvere, Ida-Viru County, will cost around 10 percent more to construct than originally budgeted for.
Andres Vainola, Eesti Energia board member, told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Wednesday that: "We have just informed the [Eesti Energia] supervisory board that, taking all circumstances into consideration, the increase in the price of materials, the lengthening of supply chains etc., there will be an increase of about 10 percent, i.e. the investment will be in the order of €350 million."
The Enefit 280 plant's test start-up is planned for the spring of next year and, once completed and online, should see production of oil shale rise to over 700,000 tonnes.
Eesti Energia laid the cornerstone for the new plant in November 2021, with the projected cost then being set at €320 million.
However, it has become clear that this will need to be revised in an upwards direction, by about 10 percent.
According to Vainola, the project is also behind schedule, but still progressing at pace.
He said: "We have 500 workers from various different countries on the site, while in October their number will already have reached 1,000, and the construction is going at full speed.
"It is true that we are a little behind the schedule, we are talking about a delay of about three months, but we remain optimistic that we may manage to recoup all that. In any case, we are planning a cold start at the beginning of next year, probably at the end of the first quarter, and then will start the move to production, step by step," Vainola went on.
Last year, Eesti Energia produced 420,000 tonnes of shale oil, with the target for 2023 set at 470,000 tonnes.
In addition to being used as a fuel in electricity generation, shale oil has several other practical applications, including in plastics and in the chemicals industry.
The Auvere plant met with protests from environmentalists, while it was at planning stage.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Rene Kundla.