East-Viru County wind turbine plant to receive EUR 2.6 mln from EU fund

BNS
Copy
The metal industry company Freen OU is investing 5.9 million euros to expand its factory in Kohtla-Jarve and start the production of wind turbines.
The metal industry company Freen OU is investing 5.9 million euros to expand its factory in Kohtla-Jarve and start the production of wind turbines. Photo: Matti Kämärä / Põhjarannik

Together with support, the metal industry company Freen OU is investing 5.9 million euros to expand its factory in Kohtla-Jarve and start the production of wind turbines; the joint agency of Kredex and Enterprise Estonia (EAS) is supporting the project with 2.6 million euros from the funds of the European Union's Just Transition Fund (JTF).

Founded in 2018, Freen completed the construction of the first phase of its plant last year. At the moment, various parts are produced as a subcontractor for other major manufacturers of metal products and equipment in the renewable energy sector, mainly from the Nordic countries and Estonia. This is the second major investment in East-Viru County supported by JTF funds and the first supported project of a small or medium-sized enterprise, the joint agency of EAS and Kredex said.

According to Nikolai Grebenkine, a member of the board of Freen OU, there are plans to produce both an own wind turbine model and to offer subcontracted production to other wind turbine manufacturers.

"The investments will help create at least thirteen new jobs in the region and launch the company's planned production activities in a completely new business line -- the company's own series wind turbine production," he added.

According to him, the support will help the company open the new line of business faster and thereby develop.

"Having recently made very large investments in the construction of a modern production building and the acquisition of new automatic equipment, it is difficult to make further investments using only own funds," Grebenkine said.

During the project, the company plans to build an extension to the existing plant and acquire additional production equipment.

According to Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo, the new wind turbine plant is a good example of the future of the economy of East-Viru County.

"More and more new industries are emerging in East-Viru County in the coming years, which will make the economy there more diverse and create production with higher added value. This also means new and better-paid jobs," the minister said.

He added that Freen's project is a good example of how small and medium-sized enterprises can also contribute to the changing of East-Viru County.

According to Sigrid Harjo, member of the management board of the joint agency, called on all companies operating in East-Viru County to take advantage of opportunities for development.

"We currently have and will soon open a number of different grants that will help realize your company's ambitious plans faster. Be it product development, research development activities or, for example, expanding production. In addition, there are a number of consulting services, from specific target markets to intellectual property management," Harjo said.

The Just Transition Fund is a financing mechanism created by the European Union, the purpose of which is to support the economy, people and the environment in regions that are facing important socio-economic challenges in connection with the achievement of the European Union's 2030 energy and climate goals and 2050 climate neutrality. In Estonia, the target region of the Just Transition Fund is East-Viru County.

Top