Water companies request exemption from fuel biocomponent requirement

Tartu water prices are set to rise
Tartu water prices are set to rise Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Similarly to the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), the Estonian Water Works Association is likewise seeking an exemption from the obligation to use fuel containing a biocomponent in their vehicles and generators, as otherwise water companies will be unable to ensure the provision of a vital service.

"Our position is that water companies are in many ways in a situation similar to the EDF and the Estonian Defence League (Kaitseliit)," Pille Aarma, managing director of the Estonian Water Works Association, noted in a letter to Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Taavi Aas (Centre). "Water companies store fuel to ensure that their vehicles and generators are kept running in case of emergencies."

According to Aarma, the stored liquid fuel is not in rotation, meaning that it is not used on a daily basis. "In addition, a certain amount of liquid fuel remains in generators for a long time, which may block the generators' fuel systems," she continued. "The majority of these generators, along with a reserve of 200-400 liters of fuel, have been installed at vital objects."

She noted that while these generators are periodically powered up for tests, they generally operate for a period of 30 minutes to an hour, using some 5-10 liters of fuel.

A bill seeking to amend the Liquid Fuel Act notes that fuel with a biocomponent deteriorates in long-term storage, possibly resulting in stratification and sediment.

"It is for this reason that there is a real risk that the stored fuel will become unusable and water companies will be unable to ensure the provision of a vital service," Aarma noted.

Thus, the association is requesting that lawmakers redraft the bill to grant water companies an exception to the biocomponent fuel requirement in order to ensure the continued provision of service.

As of Jan. 1, 2020, fuel sold in Estonia must contain up to 10 percent biocomponents or ethanol.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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