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Estonia: Eesti Energia to buy Tootsi wind farm property for EUR 51.5 mln

BC, Tallinn, 19.02.2020.Print version
State forest management company RMK's auction of the plot of a would-be wind farm at Tootsi in western Estonia was won by state-owned energy group Eesti Energia with a bid of 51.5 mln euros, reported LETA/BNS.

Altogether four companies took part in the auction. The second-best bid, 51.45 mln euros, was made by Utilitas. The starting price of the public oral auction was 12.3 million euros and participants included Tuuleenergia OU, owned by Lithuanian state-owned company Lietuvos Energija UAB, UAB Atsinaujinancios energetikos investicijos, Eesti Energia AS and OU Utilitas. A total of 784 bids were made at the public auction, which lasted for three and a half hours.

The 160-hectare property of the would-be wind farm is located in Metsakula village in the territory of the North-Parnu rural municipality and is made up of 40 cadastral units. A wind farm will be built at Tootsi that will help Estonia achieve its renewable energy goals.

The public oral auction started at 2 p.m. with a starting price of 12.3 million euros. A deposit of 1.23 million euros was required from the bidders, and the participation fee was 3,000 euros. The starting price and the final price are inclusive of VAT.

The government in November 2019 decided to instruct the Ministry of the Environment to put the property of the Tootsi wind farm under its control up for sale at an auction. The government finds that the biggest advantage of selling over constituting a right of superficies is that the risk of new court disputes is low.  

The government on Dec. 9, 2016, endorsed a decision to increase the share capital of Eesti Energia and hand over to the company the Tootsi plot then valued at 4.1 mln euros as a non-cash consideration. In response to the decision, companies submitted complaints to the European Commission and court. On April 28, 2017, the government declared the decision invalid.

Also on April 27, 2017, the government instructed the Ministry of the Environment to sell the Tootsi wind farm plot at a public auction. AS Eleon, AS Raisner and Tootsi Tuulepark OU then contested the decision in Tallinn Administrative Court.

With a ruling on Nov. 5, 2017, the administrative court granted an interim injunction that halted the sell-off of properties designated for a large wind farm at Tootsi by RMK. RMK was forbidden to organize an auction until the court ruling has entered into force.

The court rulings with which the complaints were dismissed entered into force with rulings of the Supreme Court on June 11, 2019. In the rulings, the courts found that RMK had the right to organize an auction on the terms highlighted in the rulings.

According to the thematic spatial plan, only a wind farm can be established on the property in question. According to an expert assessment given in 2017 and reiterated in 2019, the starting price of the auction of the Tootsi wind farm plot along with VAT is 12.3 mln euros.

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