Eesti Energia doubled the sale of oil shale

When compared to the same period last year, the sale of oil shale by Eesti Energia doubled in the first quarter of 2015. The larger sales volume of liquid fuels significantly mitigated the negative effect that low electricity and oil prices had on the Group’s business results.

Compared to the same period last year, the Group’s turnover grew by 3%, reaching EUR 220 million. The company’s EBITDA was EUR 88 million, which is 5% more than the same period last year. Eesti Energia earned a net profit of EUR 55 million in the first quarter of 2015, which is 7% more than the year before.

According to Andri Avila, member of Eesti Energia’s management board, the difficult situation on the energy markets inevitably had an effect on the company’s business results. “The warmer winter and sufficient hydropower and wind power brought about lower consumption and lower prices on the electricity market, which in turn had an effect on our electricity production. Also, the prices reaching a record low on the liquid fuels market had an effect on our EBITDA, but this was significantly mitigated by the growing production and sales volume of oil shale as well as hedging transactions,” said Avila.

“It is clearly evident from our business results that in the current difficult market situation an increasingly important role is played by the risk management strategy and flexibility. The co-production of electricity and oil shale is the right direction, as it helps us to better adapt in a rapidly changing environment. We have been able to produce less electricity than in previous years, but at the same time we have been producing as much oil as is currently possible and have sold it at a profit,” explained Avila, while confirming that the increasing of production at the new oil plant is a priority.

In the first quarter of 2015, Eesti Energia produced 85,000 tonnes of shale oil in total, with nearly one third, i.e. 28,000 tonnes, coming from the company’s new oil plant. In total, oil production grew by 37% when compared to the same period last year, while oil sales doubled. When compared to last year, first quarter oil production from this year sold out quicker and the volume of production sent to storage was significantly smaller. In the first quarter, Eesti Energia produced 2.3 TWh of electricity, which is 3% less than in the same period last year.

The volume of investments made by Eesti Energia has decreased by 29%, i.e. EUR 21 million. The construction of the Auvere Power Plant has reached its final stage: the plant will be connected to the power grid for the first time in the second quarter of this year, and the plant will be delivered by the builder at the end of the year.

Since the beginning of 2016 will see the entry into force of stricter requirements on permitted levels of emissions into the air, Eesti Energia has continued with its efforts to reduce the level of nitrogen compounds. In the first quarter of 2015 the company invested EUR 3 million into equipment to reduce nitrogen emissions. The Group has invested a total of EUR 14 million to reduce nitrogen emissions, as a result of which the amount of nitrogen emissions has been reduced by a factor of two.

Elektrilevi, a subsidiary of the Group, invested a total of EUR 17 million into the construction of a new grid and the installation of remotely read electricity meters in the first quarter. New loader trucks and dump trucks were also added to the vehicle fleet of the mines at the beginning of 2015.