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Frontpage News 2012 Biofuels to cut air pollution in Lihula, Estonia

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Biofuels to cut air pollution in Lihula, Estonia

  • A €650,000 project by municipal heating company OÜ Lihula Soojus, supported with a 50% grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, will swap the area’s energy production from oil-shale to straws and wood.

    By swapping oil-shale for biofuels in OÜ Lihula Soojus’ boiler house in Lihula, local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions will be drastically reduced. The change to biofuels is expected to reduce today’s 1350 tonnes of yearly emitted CO2 to an estimated 27 tonnes, a mere 2 percent of the current emissions. The effect spurred by the change to biofuels, will be further boosted through the choice of using locally available biofuels to feed the new boilers.
    While the export of reed is a financially important in the Lihula area, the reed industry also causes significant air pollution. The average use of the dry grass is 20 percent, leaving as much as 80 percent left to be burned on the local fields. These leftover straws will now be used for OÜ Lihula Soojus’ energy production, along with wood fuel.
    In addition to reducing air pollution in Lihula, the new solution will contribute to keeping the fuel prices stable. The company is opting for a duo-fuelled biomass system consisting of two bioenergy boilers. This solution allows for a more secured fuel supply, as the company can choose to use different mixes of herbaceous fuel, such as straw and reed, and woodfuel according to varying supply conditions and price fluctuations. In addition, an important added value of the project is the creation of seven to eight full-time positions and three part-time positions for the work in the boiler-house and the follow up of the biofuel supply chain. The project will run until October 2009.
    Estonia’s minister of Finance, Ivari Padar, was present at the project’s formal launch on 23 May. Padar commended Lihula parish for using local fuels as the source for heating. Norway’s Ambassador to Estonia, Stein Vegard Hagen, was also present at the event. He congratulated OÜ Lihula Soojus for the successful completion of the EEA Grants selection process and thanked the Estonian Ministry of Finance for their good cooperation in implementing the EEA and Norway Grants in Estonia.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions through the Adoption of Renewable Biofuels in the Boiler House of OÜ Lihula Soojus

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Environment and sustainable development


    € 316,627



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project promoter:

    OÜ Lihula Soojus

    Type of institution:

    Publicly owned enterprise

    Project duration:

    21 months

    Project cost:

    € 777,662

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA Financial Mechanism

    Grant agreement date:

    14 April 2008

    The purpose of the Project is adoption of renewable biofuels in the Lihula Soojus OÜ boiler house improving the sustainable use and the economic efficiency of energy resources with the overall objective of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in Estonia. Reference is made to the application dated 16 July 2007 and further correspondence with the Focal Point dated 24 August, 24 September and 9 October 2007.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    - Search for a project manager and owner supervision specialist and creation of the project organisation;

    - public procurement for supply and installation of the 0.8 MW herbaceous biomass boiler and 1 MW wood chip biomass boiler for the boiler house at Aia 16, Lihula.

    - preparation of the building designs, construction of the fuel warehouse, reconstruction of the boiler house and the feeder system;

    - public procurement for biofuel suppliers according to the public procurement act including contract negotiations and conclusion of supply contracts;

    - preparation and organisation and finalisation of a public procurement for equipment maintenance provider and;

    - publicity activities including development and distribution of a booklet, participation on seminars, publication of articles about the project in local and national newspapers and on the project website.

    The Project Promoter is the OÜ Lihula Soojus (a distribution and production of heat company).

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Project Promoter provides at least 50 percent of the total eligible costs from own funds.