The Ministry of Finance has announced a public procurement for consultants to advise the drawing up of a special plan for the €1 billion pulp mill of Est-For Invest OÜ, to be tasked with assessing the impact of implementing the plan and conducting research into known impacts.
"We have drawn up a bill to carry out the consultant tender in order to find competent enough consultants to draw up the plan," Tiit Oidjärv, head of the Spatial Planning Department at the Ministry of Finance, said in a press release.
"Based on these bills or the intention to work out the plan's fundamental viewpoints and impact assessment, the parties can discuss essential questions, which should be focused on during the preparation of the planning decision," the ministry official continued. "The consultant's first task is to amend these within their power. After that, we can involve the necessary parties in drawing up the plan as stipulated by the Planning Act."
The Estonian government's special plan seeks to find the most suitable location for the pulp mill in either Viljandi or Tartu County, near the Emajõgi River. The ideal location for the construction of the plant has good access to infrastructure, the road network and other technical networks and is suitable for the construction in terms of settlement and the natural environment.
In parallel to determining a suitable location, an assessment must be carried out regarding the impacts of the planned mill not dependent on the location thereof, such as its impact on the river basin or the Estonian and Latvian forestry markets.
Specialists from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Environment as well as representatives of Est-For Invest were involved in drawing up the procurement.
Est-For Invest is planning on establishing a €1 billion pulp mill near Tartu, Southern Estonia, which would process approximately 2.5-3.3 million tons of pulpwood annually for export. According to initial forecasts, the mill would begin production in 2022.
The public procurement for finding a consultant for the government's special plan was announced on Aug. 17; its deadline is Sept. 27.
Editor: Aili Vahtla