Laar-led Estonian government approved construction of pulp mill in 2000

Amid controversy surrounding a €1 billion pulp mill planned to be built near Tartu, the archived minutes of a 25 January, 2000 meeting of the Estonian government have turned up in which the government of Prime Minister Mart Laar (Pro Patria Union) approved state measures for the construction of a pulp mill in Estonia.

The proposals for the measures were submitted by then-Minister of Economic Affairs Mihkel Pärnoja (Moderates), and the government elected to endorse them. The government also chose to task Pärnoja with "solving issues related to the construction of a pulp mill in Estonia."

Added to the minutes in the archive was a letter of explanation in which, among other things, it was stated that a study had been commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and conducted in 1998 regarding opportunities for building a pulp mill in Estonia.

"The basis was a theoretical new, modern pulp mill with an annual output of 600,000 tonnes and processing 2.9 million cubic metres of pulpwood, with a construction cost of $825 million (12 billion EEK), approximately $450 million of which would go toward imported equipment."

Pulp mill has plus sides but must be done correctly says Reform leader (1)

The same study concluded that Estonia produced enough raw material to support a new, modern pulp mill, and that pulp production in Estonia would be economically viable.

The letter of explanation, which was signed by Pärnoja, highlighed five aspects of the effects a pulp mill on the Estonian economy:

Refining pulpwood would increase Estonia's net exports by up to 4 million EEK annually.

Construction of the mill would allow Estonia to tap a yet unused and economically unviable resource.

The mill would create 500 new jobs directly and up to 4,000 new jobs indirectly

Foreign investments would total up to 12 billion EEK.

The pulp mill would create the preconditions for the building of a paper mill in Estonia, which would increase the value of Estonia's wood experts another two- or threefold.

A coordinating document from the Ministry of the Environment signed by then-Minister Heiki Kranich (Reform) was likewise added to the minutes.

Pärnoja had told the media at the time that based on the Ministry of Economic Affairs-commissioned study, the most logically sound location for the pulp mill would be the Northern Estonian coastal town of Kunda.

Business daily Äripäev wrote at the time that other potential locations for the future mill included Ida-Viru County and the the Northwestern Estonian city of Paldiski s well as the Tallinn area.

In January 2000, Prime Minister Mart Laar (Pro Patria Union) led a coalition government comprising the Pro Patria Union, the Moderates and the Reform Party.

Editor: Aili Vahtla
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...