Estonian Oil Shale Industry Yearbook 2018: the year of record shale oil output and development
The Yearbook of Estonian Oil Shale Industry shows that innovations were contributed to the sector and large-volume development projects were proceeded. The record-breaking amount of shale oil equal to 1.1 million tonnes were produced by companies and 16 million tonnes of oil shale were mined.
Oil shale sector offered jobs to 7303 people in 2018 year and contribution to the state treasury was increased up to 17% amounting to EUR 122 million. Oil shale companies allocated for innovations and new technologies close to EUR 116 million and direct and indirect environmental investments amounted to almost EUR 55 million. „The industry has moved towards more efficient and cleaner production,“ said Kalle Pirk, the director of the Oil Shale Competence Centre at the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) Virumaa College. In 2018 year the largest investments were made into power engineering, increase of production capacity and ensuring cleaner industry.
„A record output of 1,1 million tonnes of shale oil was produced in 2018. We produce liquid fuels more than consume and perhaps we are net exporters in this field,“ pointed out Hando Sutter, the chairman of the management board of Eesti Energia. „Based on the good prospects of shale oil production today we are engaged in the preliminary design of a new oil plant,“ added Sutter. According to him, Eesti Energia is ready to make an investment decision to increase the production of shale oil at the end of the year. „Sustainable development of oil shale sector provides greater collaboration across sectors. The first step in this direction is the idea to build a joint refinery to produce cleaner fuel from shale oil. The realization of this idea is more real today than ever before,“ added Sutter.
„Our aim and one of the important continual principle is oil shale industry value chain added value maximizing and extending. VKG present value chain is the longest both in Estonia and in the world. Technology that has proven to be high performance for many years allows us to move forward in the direction of development of new products, to realize the still untapped potential of oils and retorting gas in added value maximizing, and also to look for new smart solutions. Investing in environmental projects ensures all this sector sustainability and competitiveness in the context of the global oil market,“ commentated vice-chairman of the management board of Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) Meelis Eldermann.
According to the chairman of the management board of Kiviõli Keemiatööstus Priit Orumaa innovation is one of indispensable condition of Estonian oil shale sector development. „We have not used yet the potential of fuel and various different materials co-pyrolysis to produce liquid fuels. There are possibilities to develop it in oil shale industry,“ added Orumaa.
To introduce innovations the companies collaborated with the scientists. Technologies were developed in the research laboratories of universites and opportunities for the use of by-products arising in the industry were investigated. „Important directions in science are carbon catching and using investigation, as well as shale oil quality upgrading,“ added Kalle Pirk. According to Pirk, major projects in the field of oil shale in recent years сonfirm that scientific activity is at a good level. „When launching a new Auvere power station the contribution of Estonian scientists alongside with engineers to the completion of the energy unit was acknowledged,“ pointed out Pirk.
Estonian Oil Shale Industry Yearbook 2018 has been published for five years by TalTech Virumaa College Oil Shale Competence Centre, Eesti Energia, Viru Keemia Grupp and Kiviõli Keemiatööstus. On the 10th June 2019 the Yearbook was presented at Tallinn University of Technology by the director of the Oil Shale Competence Centre Kalle Pirk, chairman of the management board of Eesti Energia Hando Sutter, vice-chairman of the management board of Viru Keemia Grupp Meelis Eldermann and chairman of the management board of Kiviõli Keemiatööstus Priit Orumaa.
The Yearbook as a web-edition is available on the home page of Competence Centre and on the websites of the companies in Estonian, Russian and English languages. Yearbook publishing is supported by EU Regional Development Fund.
TalTech Virumaa College Oil Shale Competence Centre