Opportunities lie in small towns

  • 2011-03-23
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Estonia-based state-owned energy company Eesti Energia intends to build a number of central heating and electric energy co-production stations in smaller Baltic towns, reports Postimees. All three Baltic states offer subsidies to businesses for energy produced in such co-production stations. Eesti Energia electricity production development department manager Timo Tatar noted that Latvians are the most generous in distributing these subsidies. In Estonia and Lithuania, the subsidy systems are in a comparable range.

“We have mapped the Baltic States’ heating market,” said Tatar. “More co-production stations with electricity capacity of a total of 100 MW could be built in the Baltic States.”
Eesti Energia’s competitors have taken the larger cities of the Baltic States under their control already in this respect. In the capitals Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, the central heating business is largely managed by the Dalkia concern. Finnish Fortum has built modern co-production stations not only in Parnu and Tartu, but also Jelgava in Latvia and plans a station in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

“Our potential is small towns where the big players haven’t yet settled,” said Tatar, adding that there are plenty of towns in the three Baltic states where the boiler houses of central heating systems are dilapidated and local companies don’t have investment capacity.

In January, Eesti Energia announced its purchase of a majority stake in the Latvian Valka heating firm and will build a bio-fuel boiler house there. The company has also announced it’s building a co-production station by the Werol rapeseed oil plant in Estonia.