Two Kiviter technology-based oil plants belonging to Northeastern Estonia-based Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) are standing unused as they do not have enough oil shale to run them.
VKG board chairman Ahti Asmann told regional paper Põhjarannik (link in Estonian) that he would hire nearly 100 people and within a month would bring two idle Kiviter oil plants online if the business just had the half a million tons of coarse oil shale it needed.
According to Asmann, the three newer Petroter plants which run on fine oil shale and two Kiviter plants which run on coarse oil shale go through a total of 4.5 million tons of commercial oil shale annually, however the current maximum annual mining quota for the Ojamaa mine is 4.2 million tons.
The board chairman highlighted that this creates a shortage of 300,000 tons and that under current allowed mining capacities, insuring the currently operational Kiviter plants with coarse oil shale is problematic as no buffer exists for the unexpected.
As increasing mining capacities takes time, Asmann found that the quickest solution would be to purchase oil shale from state-owned energy group Eesti Energia, however nobody was offering shale at reasonable prices, with Eesti Energia for example asking at least twice the amount of its production cost.
Editor: Aili Vahtla