The state's leading role is in any case not necessary for the planning of a pulp mill, said Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi (Centre), adding that if adjoining local governments want to explore opportunities for establishing a pulp mill, they have the right to order the necessary studies to do so.
Late last year, leaders of the city of Pärnu and Häädemeeste and Saarde Municipalities asked the government to determine whether the establishment of a pulp mill in Pärnu County would be possible, or whether circumstances existed that would preclude wood processing.
In his response, Mr Mäggi said that local governments have the right to organise spatial planning in their municipality or city and, at that, cooperate with neighbouring local governments.
"It is hereby important to note that several different types of planning can be used for planning the pulp mill," he explained. "For example, a local government comprehensive plan or designated spatial plan is suitable for choosing a location for the pulp mill."
The minister noted that no new applications for initiating a plan necessary for planning a pulp mill have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance. He also added that if the state were to plan a pulp mill of its own initiative, it would do so taking the entire country into account, not just one specific region.
Citing the government's decision to terminate the national designated spatial plan, Est-For Invest, a business planning the establishment of a pulp mill in Southern Estonia, announced on 8 November that it was shelving the project as it waited for an improvement in the investment climate.
Editor: Aili Vahtla