Viru-Nigula to support launch of pulp mill studies

Aigar Kallas and Margus Kohava (right) of Est-For Invest.
Aigar Kallas and Margus Kohava (right) of Est-For Invest. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

At a meeting next Thursday, Viru-Nigula Municipal Council in Lääne-Viru County is planning to support the launch of planning studies for the construction of a large pulp mill by the company Est-For Invest within the municipality, regional paper Virumaa Teataja reports.

"The plant wants 12,000 cubic mof water annually, while 10,000 cubic m of water is simply pumped from Aru quarry into the river," Viru-Nigula municipal mayor Einar Vallbaum told the paper.

The municipal leaders have met with representatives of Est-For Invest on several occasions by now. Est-for Invest management board member Margus Kohava said that it will be determined during the studies whether the water pumped from the quarries will be enough for a long-term and stable supply to the mill.

Vallbaum said that in addition to the Aru quarry, a suitable location for the proposed €1 billion pulp mill is the Kunda industrial area near the the coast. "When it comes to Kunda, the question lies in the journey of wood input being longer than in South Estonia," he explained In our case, however, the export of goods will be shorter as the port is closer,"

Saarde Municipal Council in Pärnu County on Wednesday voted 8-5 with one abstention in support of the launch of planning studies for the pulp mill on its territory.

Est-For hoping to still find location for plant

Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi (Centre) last Friday extended 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.

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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