TALLINN - The operation of Eesti Energia's power plants in the northeastern border city of Narva is to be rendered independent from the water level in Narva Reservoir by 2025 at the latest, according to the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
As things stand, Russia has the ability to halt operations at the state-owned power group's oil shale-fired Narva Power Plants by opening the floodgates of Narva Reservoir and depriving the power plants of cooling water. Eesti Energia has mapped its options for ensuring the power stations remain up and running even if the water level in Narva Reservoir should decrease as a result of actions by Russia.
CEO of Eesti Energia Hando Sutter told BNS that a backup plan exists but it cannot be discussed publicly in any detail.
"Eesti Energia has risk plans for vital services which we update regularly. We've also been doing it during Russia's aggression in Ukraine and shared our risk assessments regularly with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications," Sutter said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said that the government has given guidelines to Eesti Energia for both a temporary and permanent solution.
"The objective of all these solutions is to ensure the necessary cooling for the units in Narva Power Plants. The short-term plan ensures the minimum needed for at least a part of the Narva plants to support the power system to the necessary extent while the long-term plans help ensure that the risk is fully mitigated and that work at Narva power plants is rendered independent of the water level in Narva Reservoir. In any case, Estonian power systems will be independent from Russia by the end of 2025," head of public relations at the ministry Laura Laaster said.
Laaster added that the implementation of these plans entails certain risks, however.
"We have factored in these risks and [system operator] Elering has also taken additional steps to mitigate them. I want to reiterate that all the parties involved are working on all these solutions on a daily basis and our readiness is undoubtedly improving with each passing week and month," she noted.