Sanctions limiting the sale of Venezuelan oil could damage the road construction industry in Estonia, as vital materials will not be available for import.
Estonian company AS Nynas is the country's largest importer of bitumen, an oil by-product which is used to make asphalt for road surfacing amongst other things. The company has reduced its oil deliveries and believes disruptions to its supply are likely this summer, current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported. Potentially there may be days when there are no deliveries.
There is now a shortage of bitumen in the region with the Nordic countries and Poland also affected, Indrek Tepp, CEO of AS Nynas, told Aktuaalne Kaamera.
"Unfortunately, it has coincided with another problem which is that due to the poor quality of oil delivered by the Druzhba pipeline from Russia to Europe, the companies that get their crude oil through this pipeline are also forced to reduce bitumen production," Tepp said.
If no bitumen can be imported road surfacing activities will have to be suspended. Road construction company TREV-2 said the group must now rely on bitumen supplied by other importers. But this means prices could fluctuate, said Sven Pertens, CEO of TREV-2.
The Road Administration said it is currently at a standstill because the future of importing bitumen from Venezuela is uncertain.
"There may be a situation where we have to stop some work," said Raido Randmaa, director of the Road Administration's road maintenance service. "But it's a bit too early to say and we sincerely hope that bitumen will arrive in Estonia and there will be no major downtime."
Editor: Helen Wright, Dario Cavegn