Minister adjourns pulp mill planning procedure termination deadline

Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi (Centre) Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi (Centre) has extended until 3 November the deadline for responding to the draft government decision on the termination of the procedure for a national designated spatial plan for a large pulp mill to be built by Est-For Invest.

"Est-For sought the extension of the deadline for responding to the draft regulation on terminating the wood refinery designated national spatial plan until 30 November," Maggi said in a press release. "We aren't giving that much extension, but on the basis of the principle of good governance, I will extend the deadline for presenting an opinion by 21 days until 3 November."

In its application for the postponement of the deadline, Est-For cites ongoing consultations with Räpina, Võru, Setomaa and Saarde Municipalities, the results of which may significantly impact the opinion to be expressed concerning the draft regulation. 

The industrialists are not ruling out that the list of municipalities potentially interested in the pulp mill could become longer. 

The new deadline for responding also applies to the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, to which the Finance Ministry has forwarded the draft regulation for endorsement, as well as Viljandi, Tartu, Elva, Kambja, Kastre, Luunja and Peipsiääre Municipalities and the city of Tartu, from whom an opinion on the draft regulation is awaited.  

The original deadline for submitting opinions was 13 October.

Following protests by local residents and opposition from Tartu City Council and Tartu city government, the Estonian government decided in June to initiate the termination of the procedure for the preparation of the national designated spatial plan for the establishment of a €1 billion pulp mill that had been launched in spring 2017. 

Est-For has said that their mill would process about 3.3 million tonnes of paperwood and produce up to 750,000 tonnes of output per year, and would export its output.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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