Estonia, Industry, Markets and Companies

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 26.05.2020, 10:30

Swiss Asmer eyeing EUR 1bln methanol plant in Estonia

BC, Tallinn, 03.05.2019.Print version
An industrial group of Swiss origin wishes to build a methanol plant costing one billion euros in the northwest Estonian port town of Paldiski that would be the largest such facility in Europe and is working together with the former Estonian Cabinet minister and current musician and entrepreneur Toivo Asmer to carry out the plan, according to the Postimees information said LETA/BNS.

The newspaper has learned that the foreign investor behind the project is Larkwater Group, an industrial group with global reach headquartered in Geneva. Although not a lot is known about the group's operations and background, according to the group's website it engages in the manufacture and sale of industrial grade metals as well as brokerage of metals and oil. The group has eight offices across the world and their annual sales amount to 10 bn euros.

Larkwater has been on the lookout for a suitable location for its plant for three or four years, with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland also on its list of options. As things stand now, their preference is Paldiski, which according to Larkwater board chairman Juha Mikkonen possesses a number of advantages.

First, a terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is planned to be built in the area, and Paldiski is where the Estonia-Finland undersea gas pipeline Balticconnector would link up to the ground-based gas network in Estonia, providing a supply of natural gas, the raw material for methanol. 

As other advantages, the manager of Larkwater named proximity to a deepwater port and the road and the railway network. 

Mikkonen also had words of praise for Estonia's simple tax system, first and foremost the practice of not taxing corporate profits.

According to him, the plant to be built in Estonia would be the largest in Europe, producing 5,000 tons of pure methanol a day. Its annual sales would amount to 800 mln euros.

Asmer, who has been preparing the large-scale investment for the past year, told Postimees that as the first thing he went to convince the West-Harju municipality, and only after that communicated with the managers of the port company Tallinna Sadam and the railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways, as well as government ministers. 

"I have to say on a positive note that the attitude thus far has been positive and favorable," Asmer said. 


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