To react faster to the changes in the energy market, Estonia’s biggest public limited energy company, Eesti Energia, is rationalizing its oil shale mining at the Estonia mine, concentrating it in the mine’s east wing. If mining volumes should change, this will give the company more flexibility in hiring new employees or laying off current ones.
The Estonia mine, which employes 850 people, is not planning to lay off any employees at present, the company says.
The mine is the biggest oil shale mine in the country, comparable in land area with that of Tallinn. The west wing of the mining will be conserved, with mining moving to the east wing.
Head of the Board at Eesti Energia Enefit, Andres Vainola, said that the smaller mining region will provide a better chance for faster reactions in a situation where shears in the planned mining volume are large, remaining between 3.6 and 4.9 million tons.
“If we were to increase the production volume to 4.9 million tonnes, then we would have to hire an extra 60 people. Should the market situation conditions and exiting the coronavirus crisis slow down, we might need to lay off those 60 people, but we are not predicting a collective redundancy. We used to look at mining plans quarterly, but now we look at them monthly, since the changes have been unexpected and quick,” Vainola said.
Vainola added that optimizing works derived from a fall in prices in the energy market, caused by a decrease in energy consumption due to the coronavirus crisis.
“Consumption is notably low in industrial enterprises, and in the nordic countries as well. This has been amplified by an increase in the price of CO2 and a very strong hydro reserve, which has been, so far as I am aware, the highest in Scandinavia during the last 25 years.”
Eesti Energia carries out its plans, taking into account that the company has six months of oil shale reserves in its warehouses.