Eesti Energia to refine oil shale gas to gasoline

Eesti Energia is looking for a contractor to build the equipment needed to refine oil shale gas to gasoline. To this end, the company has announced a tender and invited qualified companies around the world to bid.

The equipment to be built will be an addition to Eesti Energia’s existing shale oil plants, and is expected to increase the company’s liquid fuel production by 10%.

The invitation to bid has gone out to companies that are pre-qualified in the sense that they have experience building the necessary processing tools. The winner of the bid is expected to be announced in the first half of 2017, which is when Eesti Energia will make the final decision whether or not to invest.

If that decision is positive, construction will likely begin in 2019.

Source: ERR News

Eesti Energia considers building new oil plant if oil prices rise further

Energy firm Eesti Energia is proposing building a second Enefit280 shale oil refinery if the price of crude oil on the world market reaches 60-65 dollars per barrel, said Chairman of the Board Hando Sutter.

Brent crude oil is currently priced at less than 50 dollars per gallon, reported ETV’s news broadcast “Aktuaalne kaamera.”

According to Sutter, Eesti Energia’s three existing oil refineries are already working at full capacity; every hour, more than 60 tons, or one tank car’s worth, of oil is produced, the majority of which is exported.

“We are developing our technology in such a way that new investments would be possible if the price of oil were in the range of 60-65 dollars per barrel,” explained Sutter. “As [oil prices are] a bit below 50 dollars per barrel today, we are a bit short, but if oil prices should rise, then we are prepared to offer our owners new investments upon which to decide.”

Source: ERR News

Estonia imports garbage for energy plants

When demand for garbage, used to generate heat for homes in Tallinn as well as a plant boiler in Kunda, exceeds domestic supply, Estonia must import garbage from abroad.

Six years ago, two thirds of household waste in Estonia was disposed of in landfills. Waste-to-energy (WtE) plants were launched by Ragn-Sells in Tallinn and at Jõelähtme landfille, and a waste incineration block went online at Iru Power Plant in 2013. Since then, the disposal of waste at landfills has decreased by one-tenth of garbage collected from homes., reported daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian).

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Electricity production decreased in 2015

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2015, the production of electricity totalled 10.4 terawatt-hours, which is approximately 17% less than in the previous year. Electricity production from renewable sources increased 3% compared to 2014.

Electricity generation decreased due to cheaper inflows of electricity from the Nordic countries. Imports from Finland grew 1.5 times in 2015 compared to the year before and constituted more than 96% of total electricity imports. At the same time, electricity consumption was at about the same level as the year before. Despite the decrease in production, annual electricity generation exceeded domestic consumption.

In the recent years, there has been a significant increase in the production of electricity from renewable sources. The introduction of renewable sources has somewhat reduced the importance of waste-intensive oil shale in electricity production. While in 2010 over 85% of electricity was generated from oil shale, the relevant share was 77% in 2015.

Since 2009, about half of the produced renewable electricity has been generated from biomass. There has been a considerable increase in the consumption of waste fuel and biogas for electricity generation. The production of wind power has also increased year by year. In 2015 it grew 18.4% compared to 2014. The volume of hydro energy has not changed significantly in the past three years, accounting for only 2% of total renewable electricity production.

In the past five years, the volume of oil shale production has increased every year but in 2015 production decreased approximately 7% compared to the previous year. The majority of oil shale is consumed in power plants and as raw material for shale oil. In 2015, compared to 2014, the consumption of power plants decreased by approximately 20%. Due to the continued demand in foreign markets, the shale oil production volume has increased year by year. In 2015, compared to 2014, the production of shale oil grew about 20%, and 90% of the production was exported. More than half (61%) of the exported shale oil was exported to the Netherlands, followed by Belgium and Sweden (10% each).

Over the past five years, wood pellets have been an important fuel on the energy market. In that period, the production of pellets has increased more than three times. Compared to 2014, the production of pellets grew 44% in 2015, with approximately 80% of the wood pellets produced being exported. More than half (57%) of the exported wood pellets were exported to Denmark, followed by the United Kingdom (27%), Sweden (10%) and the Netherlands (10%).

The production of peat fuels has been in decline for the past five years. In 2015, compared to 2014, the volume of production decreased more than two times.Diagram: Electricity production from renewable sources, 2005–2015

Source: Statistics Estonia

The producer price index of industrial output increased in January

According to Statistics Estonia, in January 2016, the producer price index of industrial output changed by 2.0% compared to December 2015 and by -0.1% compared to January 2015.

In January, compared to the previous month, the producer price index was more than average influenced by an increase in prices in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, and in the manufacture of electronic equipment and fuel oils but also by a decrease in prices in the repair and installation of machinery and equipment.

Compared to January 2015, the producer price index was more than average influenced by a decrease in prices in the manufacture of food products, wood and wood products and chemicals and chemical products but also by an increase in prices in the manufacture of electronic equipment, in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, mining and quarrying.

Change in producer price index of industrial output by economic activity, January 2016
Economic activity according to EMTAK 2008 January 2016 – December 2015, % January 2016 – January 2015, %
TOTAL 2.0 -0.1
Manufacturing 0.6 -0.9
Mining and quarrying -1.1 5.3
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 20.6 4.7
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 3.4 3.4

In January 2016, the export price index changed by 0.7% compared to December 2015 and by 1.6% compared to January 2015.

In January, compared to the previous month, the prices of electricity, wood products and electronic equipment increased more than average, while the prices of oil products, leather and textile products decreased more than average.

In January 2016, the import price index changed by –1.4% compared to December 2015 and by 2.7% compared to January 2015.

In January, compared to the previous month, the prices of oil products, leather and chemical products decreased more than average, while the prices of electricity and paper and paper products increased more than average.

Source: Statistics Estonia

ABB Estonia exported over 200 wind generators in 2016

The manufacturer of energy sector and automatics equipment ABB Eesti exported a couple of hundred wind generators with a capacity of 2 to 5 megawatts to Spain, Denmark and Germany during 2015.

“The main markets are Spain, Denmark and Germany. But we exported to countries outside Europe too, such as diesel generators for ships to South Korea,” Matti Pekkarinen, head of the electrical machines division for the Baltic countries at ABB, told BNS.

The power generators and frequency changers for wind generators are manufactured at the plant of ABB Eesti in Jüri not far from Tallinn.

“As far as manufacture and sales go, we are talking about Estonia because we have no manufacturing facilities in Latvia and Lithuania,” Pekkarinen said.

He couldn’t say how big was ABB’s revenue from Estonian exports.

Asked about ABB’s plans in Estonia for the current year, Pekkarinen said that uncertainty in the global economy is affecting also the developers of wind farms and financing of large projects has been postponed.

“Things are better in the outlook for the longer term, especially if we look at the decisions made globally and on the national level that have to do with halting climate change and support a rise in the share of renewable energy,” Pekkarinen said.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

Shale oil producer to lay off nearly 500 workers

Citing a continuous significant decline in global oil prices, the northeast Estonia based shale oil producer Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) announced on Jan.15 2016 it will make approximately 500 employees redundant.

The management board of VKG decided to conserve the oil plants using Kiviter technology. Production of shale oil will continue at three oil shale processing plants using Petroter technology for which oil shale is mined at VKG’s own Ojamaa mine, VKG said.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review