Eesti Energia, Ekseko and Ragn-Sells to produce energy from biowaste and liquid manure


Today, 16 March, Toomas Niinemäe, the manager of Eesti Energia renewable energy unit, Rein Leipalu and Agu Remmelg, members of the management board of Ragn-Sells, and Andres Veide, a member of the management board of Ekseko, signed a cooperation agreement, the objective of which is to establish a joint venture with a view to producing energy and fertilizer on the basis of biowaste and pig manure.

The electrical power of the planned cogeneration plant is 1.7 MW and its thermal power is 1.9 MW. The heat generated will be used in the process of producing biogas and in order to meet the thermal necessity of a pig farm. The cogeneration plant is going to be built after the completion of all necessary surveys and the adoption of an investment decision approximately in 2008.

“Eesti Energia and Ekseko have been looking into the possibilities of building a potential plant for production of electricity and heat already since 2004,” said Toomas Niinemäe, the field manager of renewable energy and cogeneration of Eesti Energia, while speaking about the background of the project. The amendments to the Electricity Market Act, which improve the economic indicators of the project, have given a new boost to the project. He added that cogeneration is, without doubt, the most effective of all methods of energy production since electricity and heat obtained from an identical amount of fuel is used. “The fact that instead of two partners, a third actor Ragn-Sells has joined the venture, and that the preparatory works, which have commenced, are gaining momentum, demonstrate the usefulness of our undertaking,” Niinemäe underlined.

“Following the conclusion of the cooperation agreement today, the designing and planning of the biogas plant and the application for a building permit for the biogas plant will commence. We are also conducting the process of environmental impact assessment. Tenders for finding a builder and the supplier of appropriate equipment must also be received,” said Andres Veide, the development director of Ekseko while speaking about the forthcoming works. “The objective is to process waste into energy and fertilizer instead of utilising it, and to profit from this. Unpleasant smell during spreading periods should significantly decrease for people who live in the vicinity of our manure spread. The farmers on whose land we are spreading it will get fertilizer of a higher quality," Veide said while commenting upon the advantages of the project.

“From 2010, the content of biowaste in landfilled waste must be reduced in Estonia. Several European countries, including Sweden, have decided to fully ban the landfilling of biowaste,” said Rein Leipalu, a member of the management board of Ragn-Sells. He added that in Estonia, it is the highest time to start constructing equipment for the recovery of biodegradable waste. Participation in the project of the construction of a biogas generator gives Ragn-Sells additional opportunities for proper handling of biowaste.

In 2004, Eesti Energia and Ekseko concluded a cooperation agreement for examining the possibilities of building a cogeneration plant to operate on the basis of biogas obtained from the residues of the pig farm of Ekseko. A feasibility study on that subject ordered by Eesti Energia was completed in December 2004.

Eesti Energia has been continuously dealing with the development of cogeneration in Estonia. For example, in addition to producing energy, the renovated energy unit of the Baltic Power Plant also provides Narva with heat supply, and preparations for the building of a new cogeneration plant to replace the old Ahtme cogeneration plant are being conducted.

AS Ekseko is the biggest pig breeding enterprise in Estonia and the Baltic States. As of the end of 2006, 102 270 pigs were bred at the farms of Ekseko. In 2007, Ekseko is planning, with its fattening pig breeding contractual partners, to market more than 230 000 fattening pigs to the slaughterhouse of the Rakvere Meat Processing Plant. Ekseko owns more than 1500 hectares of agricultural land.

The waste handling company Ragn-Sells AS is a subsidiary of the Swedish family business Ragn-Sells AB in Estonia. Ragn-Sells is specialised in providing various waste handling services in the whole of Estonia. Ragn-Sells entered the Latvian market last year. The turnover of Ragn-Sells was 268 million and its profit amounted to 29.3 million kroons in 2006. The enterprise channelled more than 25,000 million tonnes of waste into recovery last year.

Additional information:
Iveri Marukashvili
Communications specialist Eesti Energia AS
Tel: 71 51 218
GSM: 53 411 813
E-mail: [email protected]

Andres Veide
Development Director, member of the management board of AS Ekseko
Tel: 43 51 905
E-mail: [email protected]

Rein Leipalu
Member of the management board of AS Ragn-Sells
Tel: 606 0400
E-mail: [email protected]