Eesti Energia´s CEO Hando Sutter: Finding Efficiencies

Eesti Energia´s (EE, EAO’s parent company) CEO Hando Sutter has undertaken a review of the company’s international projects, including a visit to Utah and the EAO project in February. When asked for his impressions of the project, he was quick to point out that “there is a strong level of support from the local
community and a real willingness to develop the massive oil shale resources, even from the federal government officials we met”.

Eesti Energia has recently reassessed all ongoing development projects, including EAO, and has decided to make some changes to the EAO business plan. EE wants to see that the maximum energy efficiency is captured by all aspects of the project and is further evaluating adjustments to the Enefit technology concept and business plan. The target is to develop a more robust plan to ensure solid economics, even through a potentially longer term challenging economic environment. Hando also confirmed that while “EE is looking for efficiencies to lower the operating costs, we will continue with the ongoing Environmental Impact Statement and other activities that add value to the asset”.

Hando points out that “we have restructured the company to improve the efficiency of our resources. Some functions currently managed from the US will be consolidated to the EE development team in Estonia. Rikki and her Utah team will have the strong support of our Estonian development team to continue progressing the project”.

This will, of course, affect the development schedule for the Utah Project and it is impossible to say for how long. This is similar to what many other energy companies around the world are doing: reassessing their capital investments, working to rapidly lower operating costs and seeking more efficient technological solutions, which are increasingly important in the current challenging economic environment.

We are of course greatful for the overwhelmingly positive support we have received since coming to Utah in 2011 and look forward to a continued strong partnership.