June 2015

Enefit’s Auvere Power Plant Produces Electricity for First Time

15 Jun 2015


Not far from the oil shale mines visited by the visitors from Caterpillar is the Auvere Power Plant. In the final stages of construction, the plant was connected to the electrical power network earlier this month, and electricity produced at the plant reached the grid for the first time. Testing and setting-up at the plant continue. The modern 300MW circulating fluidized bed (CFB) Auvere Power Plant will be completed by the end of this year.
“Connection to the network is confirmation that all systems at Auvere Power Plant are working. But there is still meticulous work ahead of us to reach stable production at the new plant,” said Raine Pajo, Member of the Management Board of Enefit.Compared to power plants running on pulverized combustion technology, this plant, operating on fluidized-bed technology, is more environmentally friendly and features more efficient production. For fuel, the plant will use oil shale, which is up to 50 percent replaceable with biofuel.

Auvere Power Plant is being built by a consortium of companies led by Alstom under a turnkey construction contract. Companies in the Enefit Group have also contributed toward the completion of the new power plant. For example, Enefit Technology Industries built a system for delivering oil shale and biofuel for the plant (designed in collaboration with Enefit Mining), and an ash removal system.

With An Eye On Enefit’s Utah Project, Caterpillar Representatives Visit Estonian Oil Shale Mines

15 Jun 2015


A team from U.S. mining equipment provider Caterpillar (CAT) recently visited Estonia to see Enefit’s extensive operations there. CAT is interested in understanding Enefit’s methods so it can tailor its products for possible use at Enefit’s Utah Project. While construction of Enefit’s Utah Project has been slowed by low worldwide oil prices, Enefit is busy working on engineering and improving the economics, including in the mine design.
CAT representatives invested in flying halfway around the world to see Enefit’s oil shale mines in eastern Estonia. In addition to seeing how Enefit operates, the CAT team also learned about how Enefit has invested in a variety of projects to benefit communities near the mines and plants in eastern Estonia.The most interesting aspect of their visit, though, was the reclamation of the previously mined areas. Said one member of the CAT team, “It was hard to tell the difference between the reclaimed areas of the mine and the areas planned for future mining. Outside of the active reclamation areas, it appeared as though none of the areas surrounding the active mining areas had ever been disturbed from mining efforts.”

“Enefit has done an amazing job of reclaiming the mined areas and making the reclamation process a priority that closely follows the active mining, he continued. “The local wildlife was quite abundant and people were fishing in the streams surrounding the mines. We actually saw a bear on our way in to observe the active mining site. Many of us participating in the site visit spend a lot of time in the outdoors and very few of us had ever seen a bear in the wild before, none of us had seen a bear on an active mine before this day. This bear sighting may sound simple but it is a testament to the reclamation efforts of Enefit and the professionalism of their employees.”

The CAT team says they see the development of oil shale projects in the U.S. as a tremendous opportunity and they look forward to the future possibility of work with Enefit on its Utah Project.

Penstemon Conservation Agreement Wins Utah Energy Award

15 Jun 2015


Congratulations to Uintah County and its partner agencies for being selected to receive an Energy Environmental Leader Award from the Utah Office of Energy Development at the Governor’s Energy Summit on May 21st. The agencies were praised for their ability to negotiate a 15-year Conservation Agreement to protect two species of sensitive plants that live on and near oil shale outcrops.
The Agreement is one of the first of its kind to prevent a formal endangered species listing by the federal government through local government protections and voluntary conservation efforts by private landowners, including Enefit American Oil.In addition to Uintah County, the award was presented to Rio Blanco County, Colorado; the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Utah’s School and Institutional Lands Administration; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Utah Ecological Services Field Office and Western Colorado Field Office; Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordination Office; and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s White River Field Office. Ryan Clerico, Enefit American Oil’s Head of Development and Environment, participated in the development of the Agreement and was on hand for the award presentation.

Enefit Rocks Mining Education by Taking Part in UMA’s Mining Rocks! Program

15 Jun 2015
Educating the next generation of mining engineers is the aim of the Utah Mining Association’s Mining Ambassador Program. Enefit’s Utah staff have taken part in the curriculum for 4th graders for the past two years. Called Mining Rocks!, the program involves employees from companies in Utah’s extractive industries.
Nathan Davis, a chemical process engineer for Enefit, has given about 12 presentations over the past two years to 4th grade groups averaging 80 to 90 students at each session. With a blended family of seven children at home, Nathan has a practiced knack for interacting with kids.“The kids love the explosions and huge trucks involved in mining, in addition to asking me how much money I make,” Nathan says. “My kids play the computer game Minecraft and I’ve found it to be a great way to educate the kids since so many of them play it. It’s really useful for talking about different issues like safety, the environment, different mining processes, how projects are funded, and so on.”“Fourth grade is a really good time to expose kids to understanding the types of careers they can have,” he says. “It’s eye-opening for the girls to realize they can work in the mining industry and for all the kids to learn that there are many entry paths to get into the industry. They don’t all need an advanced college degree, they can go do vocational training if that’s the kind of job they want.”

The program also provides industry representatives like Nathan the opportunity to present the positive aspects of mining, which are often neglected in public discussion. They educate school children about all of the things made from mined materials and about how mines are reclaimed on an ongoing basis. The added benefit is that these kids then go home and give the message back to their parents.

“I look forward to doing as many presentations as I’m asked to do,” Nathan says.

During the 2014 legislative session, the role of the Utah Office of Energy Development (OED) was expanded to include all mineral development. The Utah Mining Association, of which Enefit American Oil is a member, recently partnered with OED to expand energy and mineral education programs throughout the state. One of the first products of this collaboration is a new that documents the scope and nature of mining activities in Utah, energy generation and conversation, and job opportunities in the industry. The video is available here.