Carbon-neutral chemical industry

Eesti Energia is preparing for the transition from fuel production to a CO2-neutral chemical industry. The goal is to reach a carbon-neutral chemical industry by 2045 in stages.

What are we going to do?

We have long-term oil shale processing experience, skills and technology that we will develop into a sustainable chemical industry. We wish that it would create as many benefits as possible for Ida-Virumaa and the state – preserved jobs, increased competence and preserved nature.

This is the next stage in the development of the oil shale industry, where in addition to oil shale, we use plastics and waste tyres left over nfrom waste management to produce smart carbon-neutral products, such as raw materials for the clothing and plastics industries.

We will cease electricity production from oil shale by 2030. We will transform our production of liquid fuels into a chemical industry based on the circular economy by 2045 in stages.

We have long-term oil shale processing experience

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Why are we doing this?

We will help reduce global warming and catch CO2.

We will solve a waste problem and introduce waste plastics and waste tyres to produce raw materials for the chemical industry, which in turn can be used to make new products necessary for everyday life.

We will preserve jobs in Ida-Virumaa and work with researchers to develop the oil shale competence unique to Estonia.

We will increase income for our company, Ida-Virumaa and the state.

We will develop skills and technology that we can start exporting.

How do we do it?

In order for our activities to be environmentally sustainable, we are working with researchers to find ways to make the chemical industry carbon neutral.

The first stages of Eesti Energia's and TalTech's research launched at the beginning of 2021 confirmed that the technology needed to capture CO2 exists. The chemical industry can produce various chemicals from the captured CO2 in the future.

Purpose of the CO2 capture study

Purpose of the CO2 capture study

The aim of the study is to assess the suitability of two different CO2 capture technologies – amine absorption and oxy-combustion – for the oil shale industry and the chemical industry of the future.

Currently, in the final phase of the study, tests are carried out with the TalTec's test rig in collaboration with international technology providers to further explore the specificities of the CO2 capture technologies and their interaction with Enefit280.

As a result of the study, the most technically and economically suitable CO2 capture technology for the Enefit280 device will be revealed.

CO2 capture study

Solving the problem of waste plastics

Plastics cause a lot of environmental problems all over the world as well as in Estonia. Eesti Energia has the technology to provide a solution to this problem. We treat waste plastics as a valuable resource from which new products can be made.

This means that we will reduce the share of oil shale in the chemical industry and increase the share of raw materials from the circular economy – waste plastics and waste tyres – in our industry. Enefit Outotec Technology is currently conducting bench tests in Frankfurt, the results of which will be available by the end of 2021. We will start the industrial use of plastics from 2024.

4 exciting facts

The use of plastics in our chemical industry is based on the national sorting survey (2020) by SEI, and, in cooperation with the TalTech Oil Shale Competence Center, analysis of plastics that are generated in Estonian households. The aim was to investigate the compatibility of household plastics with the chemical industry technology.

The chemical industry allows the recycling of plastics that can currently only be incinerated or landfilled. This important technological development makes it possible to produce new plastic packaging from waste plastics, for example.

Plastics contain over three times more oil than oil shale.

CO2 can become an opportunity instead of a problem. Our aim is to turn CO2 into a valuable resource from which methanol and calcium carbonate can be produced.

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