The first shipload of shredded tyres which Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit Power is being supplied with from Sweden arrived in Estonia in August
The shredded rubber will be used to create an ersatz shale oil, replacing the traditionally mined and refined product.
A total of 1,670 tonnes of tyre chips arrived in the port of Sillamäe. These will not, Enefit Power board chair Andres Vainola stressed, be burned, but instead be pyrolysed, a more environmentally friendly activity, he said.
“This gives us a much higher yield of liquid fuel, meaning we need to use less shale in order to obtain oil,” Vainola explained.
The first consignment was ferried from the port of Oxelösund in Sweden to Sillamäe in a 30-year-old vessel, the “Wilson Elbe”, sailing under the Barbadian flag
The multi-year contract with Sweden allows for an inflow of 20,000 tonnes of shredded tyres, but this can rise in line with Enefit Power’s needs.
Enefit Power first trialled the use of shredded tyres in its oil shale plants four years ago, but difficulties in finding raw materials at the right price and quality hampered things.
Eesti Energia’s plan to build its own tyre shredding plant did not ultimately materialise, partly due to supply issue.
“This does not mean that we will not continue negotiations here, involving local partners in order to use the potential of our used tyres,” Vainola added.