Estonia may face massive fine over breach of EU competition law

  • 2010-11-04
  • TBT Staff

Estonia is the world's leading producer of oil shale.

TALLINN - The Estonian government could face a fine of up to 70 million euros after a report found the state energy company to be in violation of EU competition laws.

The report, put together by the "Lawin" legal bureau, found the Eesti Energia violated competition regulations in oil shale mining. In essence, the report said that the state-owned energy company had no right to suppress competition on the grounds of securing the national energy supply because the company also exports both oil and electricity.

The fine could amount to as much as 10% of the companies annual sales, which would total 1.1 billion kroons.

The legal analysis had been ordered by competitors of the national energy supplier, wrote Postimees, one of the country's largest daily newspapers. The full report has not been released to the public.

Estonia is the world's largest producer of oil shale, with national reserves that far outstrip those of any other country. Eesti Energia Oil processes 1.5 million tons of oil shale a year.