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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 04.06.2020, 03:52

Climate deal to bring difficulties, need for investment for Estonian oil shale sector

BC, Tallinn, 15.12.2015.Print version
The Paris climate accord will further aggravate the already difficult situation of the Estonian oil shale industry and bring with it a need for additional investments, LETA/Postimees said.

That the Paris goals are ambitious also means that they are presenting the Estonian oil shale sector with difficult challenges, Alexela Group chairman of the board Andreas Laane told the newspaper. "As a result of toughening environmental requirements and low oil price the sector is faced with significant challenges," he said.


He said this poses a problem not for the industry alone and the climate agreement means that ministries must start to collaborate more closely both among themselves as well as with the sector. Alexela is considering investments both in more effective production and environmental measures, but the size of the investments is not known at this point, informs BNS.


"It's clear that the investments necessary to meet the goals of the climate agreement are very big and this clearly begs the question, whether or not one should continue. The prices of more effective pollution capture devices alone are measured in several millions of euros," Laane said.


According to Eesti Energia, instead of giving up oil shale one should take an innovative and environmentally sustainable approach to it. Co-production of oil and electricity allows to get twice the value out of oil shale compared with burning oil shale in the old units of the Narva based power plants. Besides the state owned energy group will focus on the use of byproducts.


The privately held Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) said the same holds true for them, as the efficiency ratio of production at VKG is up to 70%. "Hence the production arrangements we use are consistent with the principles of climate policy," VKG board member Meelis Eldermann told the newspaper.


Under the climate accord agreed in Paris on Saturday, Estonia must start to more seriously cut down on greenhouse gas emissions starting from 2020. Leaders of the nearly 200 countries that approved the deal on Saturday are expected to come to U.N. headquarters in New York on April 22 next year to sign the deal. The agreement will be open for signing by the countries until April 21, 2017.

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