Eesti Energia CEO: Ministry of Climate holding back oil plant construction

Enefit Power.
Enefit Power. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Andrus Durejko, CEO of Estonia's national energy company Eesti Energia, told ERR's "Otse uudistemajast" webcast that the completion of the new Enefit Power shale oil plant is stuck behind Estonia's Ministry of Climate which has not approved Eesti Energia's environmental impact assessment.

Durejko said that the plant is almost ready as construction was supposed to end in the first quarter or by the end of April at the latest, while its environmental effects assessment is waiting to be approved by the Ministry of Climate.

He said that while turning oil shale into shale oil is carbon intensive today, Eesti Energia is working on making oil shale technology carbon neutral. "In those terms, CO2 should be inconsequential by 2035."

"We are doing everything we can to get the plant up and running. It depends on the legal environment, common sense and that investments of this magnitude should not depend on Supreme Court decisions of whether the environmental impact assessment is sufficient or not," Durejko said, adding that without certainty in climate aspects, future investments might not happen.

The Supreme Court revoked Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit Power AS' building permit for the new plant last Wednesday as it found shortcomings in its environmental impact assessment. The court ordered the Narva-Jõesuu City Government to rectify errors in the assessment.

Narva-Jõesuu Mayor Maksim Iljin said Monday that the city hopes to issue a new building permit after a few weeks once the Environmental Board, which lies in the administrative area of the Ministry of Climate, approved the updated environmental impacts assessment.

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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Marcus Turovski

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