Estonian and Finnish Companies Establish Oil Shale JV

Jose Michael

Estonia-based Eesti Energia and Finland-based Outotec will form a joint venture for the development and marketing of environmentally sustainable and economically viable oil shale processing methods.

Estonia, which, like the other countries in the Baltic region is a net oil importers, extracts most of the oil it does produce from oil shale, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Shale currently provides about 62% of the country’ls primary energy production.

State-owned Eesti Energia will have a majority 60% stake in the new company, while Outotec will have the remaining 40% stake. The new company aims to become a significant supplier of oil shale technology solutions, combining Eesti Energia’s experience in oil shale mining and processing and Outotec’s expertise in circulating fluid bed (CFB) technologies. This agreement supports Outotec’s growth strategy as well as Eesti Energia’s liquid fuels production strategy.

The joint company aims to improve Eesti Energia’s operational shale oil technology, to exploit the improved technology in commercial production plants in Narva, Estonia, and to commercialize the technology for use on oil shale deposits worldwide. The decision for the construction of the first oil plant based on improved technology is aimed to be made in May 2009.

Several test programs involving the circulating fluid bed tests have been successfully carried out at Outotec’s Research Center in Frankfurt during the summer of 2008. Besides oil shales and oil sands, the new technology can also be used in the recycling of hydrocarbon containing materials such as wastes plastics and old tires.

Eesti Energia is the leading energy utility in the Baltic States as well as the biggest oil shale utilizing company worldwide, engaged in the production oil and power, sale and delivery of electricity and heat to consumers. Besides the oil and power plants the company owns oil shale mines and quarries.

Outotec is a worldwide technology leader in minerals and metals processing, providing innovative and environmentally sound solutions for a wide variety of customers in minerals processing, iron and steel, aluminum and non-ferrous metals industries.

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