Estonia to host International Symposium to celebrate 100 years of oil shale mining

18th May 2016

News ArticleEuropeEventsMember CommitteesPolicy

In the context of a global energy transition where countries are looking at what is the best energy resources mix to balance their Energy Trilemma, Estonia will be hosting an International Symposium on Oil Shale. The symposium called “Oil Shale 100” will be held 20 - 23 September to connect resource holders, technology developers, researchers, government representatives and business leaders from across the world to celebrate a momentous anniversary in oil shale development - 100 years of oil shale mining in Estonia.

The event is organised in close collaboration between the Council’s Estonian member committee, oil shale energy company Eesti Energia, Tallinn University of Technology, and the University of Tartu. According to Hando Sutter, Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Energia, the symposium will offer unique opportunities to hear about the latest innovations and technology updates, and increases in efficiency and applications to reduce environmental impacts.

“Estonia is living proof that the oil shale industry can be viable long-term, and has remained so throughout the last century. Estonia is the largest oil shale processor in the world, and we have proven technologies for producing of both electricity and oil. In addition to developing the world´s largest oil shale industry in Estonia, we are able to export our unique know-how to other resource holding countries,” said Mr Sutter.

2016 is a milestone year for Estonia’s oil shale industry: it marks 100 years since oil shale mining began, and oil shale has been the subject of scientifically based research during the same length of time.

Professor Volli Kalm, Rector of the University of Tartu, said: “Scientific research on oil shale, carried out with the help of Estonian universities, enables the Government to make well-informed decisions, so that – through creating new jobs and promoting innovation in the energy sector – our society could continue to benefit from oil shale in the future.”

“When it comes to Estonian research and technology, oil shale science is indisputably world-class – a discussion of the field’s global future presents a big challenge, and opportunity, for all our researchers and engineers,” observed Jaak Aaviksoo, academician and Rector of the Tallinn University of Technology. The first oil shale conference was held in Estonia in 1968, at the Tallinn University of Technology. Most recently, Estonia hosted an international oil shale symposium in 2013, with 400 industry professionals from 33 countries attending.

The symposium´s panel sessions will be held in Tallinn at Kultuurikatel (Tallinn Creative Hub) on 20 and 21 April.  A field trip will offer an opportunity to visit industrial scale oil shale facilities - the 300 MW Auvere Power Plant, and the Enefit280, a combined shale oil, gas and electricity cogeneration plant, as well as an operational open cast mine.

The symposium is being organised in collaboration with the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, and the Estonian National Committee of the World Energy Council.

Additional information and submission of abstracts:

Join the World Energy Council

Engage in strategic dialogue with the energy leaders of today and the future, build capabilities and help shape the energy future.