Est-For Invest Members of the Management Board and Hendrikson & Ko* advisors gave the Parliament`s Environment Committee an overview of the project`s state of play. The meeting focused on available information as the national spatial planning process is only in the first stages.
The Head of the Environment Committee, Rainer Vakra, said that it is in the interests of Estonian economy to add multiple value to our timber export and create hundreds of new jobs. “Nonetheless, this decision is one where we should apply the principle: measured twice, cut once. Establishment of the biorefinery in the River Suur-Emajõgi region may have a strong impact on green networks, including Natura 2000 areas, biological diversity and cultural heritage,“ he said. Vakra recognized the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology and Tartu University for setting up an independent Est-For Academic Council.
According to Est-For Invest Member of the Board, Aadu Polli, the meeting was constructive. “Our message to the Environment Committee is the following: we want to build a contemporary biorefinery, which corresponds to best available technology (BAT) requirements and is in conformity with provisions in the European Union`s Industrial Emissions Directive. I gave an overview of how establishment of the refinery would affect Estonian economy and based on available data, I also had the opportunity to introduce environmental impacts. In addition, we spoke about the biorefinery`s contribution to renewable energy. I am glad that the members of the committee were interested in the topic and used the opportunity to ask questions,” he said.
In the context of the drafted plan, the Environment Committee focuses on thorough environmental impact assessment placing importance on both socio-economic impacts and assessment of environmental impact. The public procurement for selecting consultants to advise on the national spatial planning of the biorefinery was announced on August 18th.
The Government decided to initiate the compilation of national spatial planning for building the Est-For Invest biorefinery in the Suur-Emajõgi region on May 11th. Compilation of spatial planning and impact assessment take about two years.
*Hendrikson & Ko is an environmental management and spatial planning consultation company that advises Est-For Invest. Hendrikson & Ko does not participate in public procurements related to Est-For Invest.