Estonians work with Russia's cash-strapped shale company

  • 2005-05-11
  • Baltic News Service
TALLINN - The Ministry for Economic Affairs has agreed to set up a joint working group that will seek ways to continue to generate electric power from Russian oil shale in Narva Elektrijaamad (Narva Power Plants).

"The working group should find suitable guarantees that Leningradslanets [the Russian oil shale extractor] could offer the Estonian power company for the cooperation to continue," the ministry said after a May 5 meeting with representatives of the Russian Leningrad Region.

Recently Narva Power Plants terminated its contract for the reprocessing of Leningradslanets oil shale due to the Russia company's failure to meet its financial obligations. On April 1 Narva Power Plants, which belongs to Eesti Energia (Estonian Energy), ceased reprocessing of oil shale from the Russian company.

Under the previous agreement, Narva Power Plants reprocessed the oil shale supplied by the Russian oil shale group and then channeled the electricity thus generated into Russian power grids. The agreement was to remain in effect until March 2006.

Russia supplied up to 100,000 tons of oil shale per month to Narva Power Plants, while Eesti Polevkivi (Estonian Oil Shale), supplies some 12 million tons annually to the utility.