Eesti Energia wants to build joint oil shale refinery

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Photo: Toomas Huik

Estonia's state-run energy group, Eesti Energia, has commenced talks with two other oil shale processing companies, Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) and Kiviõli Keemiatööstus, to consider joint construction of a refinery for producing motor vehicle-suitable diesel fuel from shale.

CEO of the group's shale oil refining subsidiary, Eesti Energia Õlitööstus’ Igor Kond, said that various possibilities are under consideration for making Euro 5 diesel fuel from the raw oil produced from oil shale. "One possibility is to build a bigger refinery jointly with other oil producers. We have made a proposal to both VKG and Kiviõli Keemiatööstus to explore the possibility of a joint plant," he said.

 An analysis made by the international engineering company Fluor B.V. showed that it is possible to produce Euro 5 diesel fuel from Estonian shale oil, but that a post-processing plant would make more sense economically if its capacity was bigger.

Tests have shown that one ton of oil shale would yield approximately 120 kilograms of high-quality liquid fuels including nearly 70 kilograms of Euro 5 compliant diesel fuel.

In connection with the analysis of new prospects the initial 2016 deadline of diesel fuel production is postponed.

Eesti Energia produced 211,075 tons of shale oil last year. The profitability of shale oil production is supported by the high world market price of heavy fuel oil which averaged €515.7 per ton in the first quarter of this year, up by 13 percent from the same period last year.