Energy, Estonia, Financial Services, Oil

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 28.11.2020, 13:14

Eesti Energia seeking extension of deposit fee rate for oil shale ash

BC, Tallinn, 20.11.2020.Print version
The Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia proposed to the government to initiate an urgent procedure to extend the period that deposit fee for oil shale ash and waste rock stays at 1.31 euros per ton until the government has approved and enforced a long-term plan for the implementation of pollution charges, informs LETA/BNS.

Eesti Energia CEO Hando Sutter said in his address to Minister of the Environment Rain Epler, Minister of Finance Martin Helme and Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas that, as a result of a study commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment, in 2019 Estonian oil shale ash was changed from hazardous waste to non-hazardous waste.

The corresponding amendment to the regulation entered into force on Jan. 1 this year. Changing the status of the ash provided a basis for considering lowering the deposit fee for oil shale ash. In June this year, the Riigikogu amended the Environmental Charges Act, which reduced the deposit fee for oil shale fly ash and bottom ash to 1.31 euros per ton in the period from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 this year.

Sutter noted that the amendment reduced the ash disposal fee to the same level as for the disposal of other non-hazardous waste generated in the oil shale industry -- waste rock. He also pointed out that the obligation of the Ministry of the Environment to submit proposals to the government by Oct. 15 for the implementation of new pollution charge rates from Jan. 1, 2021 was added to the law.

"To our knowledge, the government has not yet discussed new pollution charges. If no new decision is made regarding the ash disposal fee before the end of this year, the rate of the ash disposal fee of 2.98 euros per ton will automatically apply from the beginning of 2021, which was valid when the oil shale ash was considered hazardous waste," Sutter said.

The CEO of Eesti Energia said that as the economic environment is still volatile due to the coronavirus, the company proposes that the government extend the period that the deposit fee stays at 1.31 euros per ton until the new pollution charge plan enters into force.

Sutter added that the oil shale ash deposit fee primarily affects three companies that have been issued an oil shale mining permit: Enefit Kaevandused AS, VKG Kaevandused OU and Kivioli Keemiatoostuse OU.

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