Enefit Power decommissions the cogeneration unit of the Balti Power Plant

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Today, 1 April, Estonia’s energy company Enefit Power will decommission the unprofitable cogeneration unit of the Balti Power Plant for at least a year and the production of thermal energy will continue in the reserve boiler house. The obligation to maintain the controlled reserve capacity will be ensured by the energy units of the Auvere Power Plant and the Eesti Power Plant.

Due to falling natural gas and electricity prices and the high price of CO2, oil shale-based electricity production is no longer competitive on the market, according to the company. This means that oil shale-fired power plants, including the Balti Power Plant, now have significantly less access to the market and the plants lack, to a large extent, the capacity to generate revenue from the market.

“The long-term strategy of the Eesti Energia group is to gradually phase out oil shale electricity production and replace it with a chemical industry based on the circular economy and to focus on renewable energy and electricity production with lower fixed costs,” said Andres Vainola, Chairman of the Board of Enefit Power. “Our region has emerged from the energy crisis more quickly than forecast, which meant that already in 2023, several Enefit Power’s power units were not entering the market and this trend will continue. Despite the decommissioning of the cogeneration unit at the Baltic power plant, we will maintain the ability to provide the reserve capacity expected by the owner.”

In 2022, Enefit Power produced 5.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, while in 2023, production decreased two times, to 2.2 TWh. The Balti power plant’s production also decreased by the same amount, from 1 TWh in 2022 to 0.48 TWh in 2023. According to the forecast, the plant’s revenues in 2024 will not cover its operating costs.

Mr Vainola added that no decision has been made yet regarding the employees of the plant.

“We will try to provide some employees with work in the developing chemical industry, some employees will go on holiday in early April,” he said. “The final decision will be made once the owner’s expectations for Enefit Power are clear.”

The production of thermal energy will continue in the reserve boiler house of the Balti Power Plant, used by Narva Soojusvõrk to supply the customers of Narva City.

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