Ahtme Power Plant

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Ahtme Power Plant
Ahtme Power Plant is located in Estonia
Ahtme Power Plant
Location of Ahtme Power Plant in Estonia
Official name Ahtme soojuselektrijaam
Country Estonia
Location Ahtme, Kohtla-Järve
Coordinates 59°18′50″N 27°27′52″E / 59.31389°N 27.46444°E / 59.31389; 27.46444Coordinates: 59°18′50″N 27°27′52″E / 59.31389°N 27.46444°E / 59.31389; 27.46444
Status Operational
Construction began 1951
Commission date 1953
Decommission date 1 January 2013
Operator(s) VKG Soojus
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Oil shale
Secondary fuel Shale oil
Cogeneration? yes
Power generation
Units operational 1 X 10 MW
1 X 20 MW
Make and model Sverdlovsk Turbine Works
VEB Görlitzer Maschinenbau
CHP heating capacity 370 MWt
Nameplate capacity 30 MW

The Ahtme Power Plant (Estonian: Ahtme soojuselektrijaam) was an oil shale-fired power plant in Ahtme, Kohtla-Järve, Estonia. It was owned by VKG Soojus, a subsidiary of Viru Keemia Grupp. Until the end 2012, it supplies with heat Ahtme district of Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi.[1]

Construction of the Ahtme Power Plant started during World War II as a part of the larger oil-shale processing complex.[1] The plant was designed by AtomEnergoProekt. The first generator of the plant was commissioned on 28 October 1951 with the second generator following at the end of the same year.[2] The first generator had a capacity of 22.5 MW.[3] At the beginning the plant used Riley Stoker boilers and General Electric generators; however, boilers developed for the pulverized firing of coal and lignite were not fit to work on pulverized oil shale.[3][4] The planned capacity of 72.5 MW which made it the most powerful power plant in Estonia until the commissioning of the Narva Power Plants, was reached only at the end of the 1950s.[2][3]

Originally the main task of the plant was to provide electricity and heat to the nearby Ahtme oil shale mine and other oil shale industries. Later it started to heat Ahtme and Jõhvi towns.[5] After commissioning of the Narva Power Plants the importance of the Ahtme Power Plant as an electricity producer decreased and it was mainly utilized as a heating plant. Correspondingly, the electrical capacity of the plant was decreased. Since 2000, the plant has installed capacity of 30 MW of electricity and 370 MW of heat. It is equipped with three Barnaul BKZ-75-39F middle-pressure boilers and two Bukkau type boilers, one 20 MW Sverdlovsk and one 10 MW VEB Görlitzer Maschinenbau AT-25-2 turbine.[5][6][7]

Before closure of the Ahtme oil shale mine, oil shale for the power plant was supplied from there. As a start up fuel, the plant used shale oil. Its cooling water was piped from Lake Konsu,[5] located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southeast. Oil shale ash was dumped in the nearby ash field. Ash was transported in closed the system by pumping ash and water mixture to the depository field.[8] Closure of the ash landfill was supported from the European Union Cohesion Fund.[9] Part of oil shale ash was used to produce cinder blocks at the Ahtme building materials factory.[10]

On 1 January 2013 the plant was closed due to EU environmental regulations. In March 2011, a 100 MW natural gas-fired boiler house for peak and back-up loads was commissioned, which continues operating after closure of the old power plant.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "VKG Soojus AS". Viru Keemia Grupp. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  2. ^ a b Ots, Arvo (2006) [2004]. Toni Tyson; Mary McQuillen, ed. Oil Shale Fuel Combustion. Tallinn: Arv Ots; Eesti Energia. pp. 13–17. ISBN 978-9949-13-710-7. 
  3. ^ a b c Holmberg, Rurik (2008). Survival of the Unfit. Path Dependence and the Estonian Oil Shale Industry (PDF). Linköping Studies in Arts and Science. 427. Linköping University. p. 172. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  4. ^ Tallermo, Harri (2002). "Ilmar Öpik and oil-shale-fired boilers" (PDF). Oil Shale. A Scientific-Technical Journal. Estonian Academy Publishers. 19 (2 Special): 249–255. ISSN 0208-189X. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  5. ^ a b c Gavrilova, Olga; Randla, Tiina; Vallner, Leo; Starndberg, Marek; Vilu, Raivo (2005). Life Cycle Analysis of the Estonian Oil Shale Industry (PDF) (Report). Tallinn: Tallinn University of Technology. p. 34. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Other Fossil-Fueled Plants in Estonia". Industcards. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  7. ^ Siirde, Andres (2005). Reference values of efficient cogeneration and potential of efficient cogeneration in Estonia (PDF) (Report). Tallinn: Tallinn University of Technology. p. 28. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  8. ^ Francu, Juraj; Harvie, Barbra; Laenen, Ben; Siirde, Andres; Veiderma, Mihkel (May 2007). "A study on the EU oil shale industry viewed in the light of the Estonian experience. A report by EASAC to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of the European Parliament" (PDF). European Academies Science Advisory Council: 24. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  9. ^ Tere, Juhan (2010-09-09). "EU funds help close down Ahtme ash fields". The Baltic Course. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  10. ^ Teesalu, Ingrid (2011-10-17). "Factory in Ahtme Revives Production of Cinder Blocks". ERR. Retrieved 2012-10-28.