First water in the Aidu rowing canal

Active works continue in Aidu quarry after the end of oil shale mining. Two excavators are busy digging the future rowing canal and the beginning of the canal is starting to take the intended shape. Although the pumping of water out of the quarry was only finished a few days ago, the first water is already there in the future rowing canal.

The water will not get in the way of construction works as the rise of water level has been taken into account when planning the excavation operations. In a year, the trench for the rowing canal will be ready; in two years, water should reach the level required for international boat races.

On 29 August, the members of the supervisory board and the cooperation partners of the foundation SA Aidu Veespordikeskus joined in the excavation works. The excavator came out as a winner, lifting a hundred times more rubble than ten people with shovels at the same time.

"We are making the first step towards construction by excavating the trench for the canal," said Toomas Põld, member of the board of Enefit Mining. The excavators that had so far been mining oil shale are now used for the benefit of sports," he said.

Within the works related to the closing down of the former oil shale quarry, the area will be cleaned up and a 2.3 km long, 166 m wide and 3.5 m deep trench for the rowing canal will be established, which will be filled up with natural water. In order to establish the canal, Enefit Mining needs to excavate almost five million tons of rubble. Enefit will invest a million euros in this project that is important both for the local community as well as the entire Viru County.

"In the future, we are planning to establish a modern water sports and leisure centre on the area of Aidu quarry, together with a rowing canal corresponding to international requirements, a water slalom course and a wind tunnel," Hardi Murula, chairman of supervisory board of SA Aidu Veespordikeskus explained. "The construction works for excavating the canal are on schedule and the next thing to focus on will be the above-ground facilities of the water sports centre. The draft project and detailed plan are being finalised and the next step will be design work," Hardi Murula explained.

The first races in the canal are planned for the year 2015. In addition to the water sports centre, a windmill park, a firing range for the National Defence League and a recycling area for mine waste have been planned for the area of Aidu quarry.

The reserves of the Aidu oil shale quarry that had been in operation for almost 40 years were exhausted and the quarry was closed down at the end of July. Over the years, the quarry yielded more than 90 million tons of oil shale, which would be enough to light a million light bulbs for 70 years.

Eliis Vennik
Eesti Energia
PR Officer
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