The Minister of the Environment Siim Kiisler replied to the interpellation concerning the activities of the State Forest Management Centre (No. 415), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Külliki Kübarsepp, Andres Ammas, Jüri Adams, Monika Haukanõmm, Artur Talvik, Krista Aru and Andres Herkel on 5 February.
The interpellators referred to the fact that the State Forest Management Centre in the area of government of the Ministry of the Environment and the biorefinery developer “Est-For Invest” had jointly prepared a letter of intent for signing, that guaranteed a half of the whole pulpwood of the State Forest Management Centre to the biorefinery during 1.5 years, and the price of the wood was undefined.
The interpellators wished to know the ministry’s position on the letter of intent of the State Forest Management Centre and “Est-For Invest”. They also wished to know why such a legal agreement had been concluded already before it had become clear whether such an undertaking would be feasible at all due to the environmental impacts or spatial plans.
Kiisler explained that in May last year the Government had decided to initiate a national designated spatial plan to investigate the possibility of establishing a biorefinery in Estonia. The process of planning will last several years, and several different impact studies will be carried out in the course of that. “Whether the biorefinery will be constructed, depends on the results of the investigations as well as the decisions of investors. If it becomes evident that it is impossible to manage the environmental impacts in an environment-friendly manner, no such biorefinery will be constructed,” the minister confirmed. He added that in such a case the establishment of the biorefinery would not be funded, and no supply contract would follow the letter of intent between the State Forest Management Centre and “Est-For Invest”.
Kiisler said that conclusion of letters of intent was the usual practice of the State Forest Management Centre. He pointed out as examples that a cooperation protocol with “Latvijas Finieris Ltd” to establish a modern plywood mill in Kohila had been entered into in spring 2011, a cooperation protocol with “Graanul Invest Ltd” to establish a mill in Osula had been entered into in spring 2013, and an analogous protocol to establish a new pellet plant in Imavere had been entered into in autumn 2014. Thus the protocol on cooperation with “Est-For Invest” is nothing new, considering the existing practice of the State Forest Management Centre.
“The ministry’s position is that the conclusion of the letter of intent is in accordance with the current law and will definitely not affect the further processes of environmental impacts assessment and spatial planning. I emphasise that no letter of intent has yet been entered into,” Kiisler underlined. He explained that there was however a draft of the document.
The Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab replied to the interpellation concerning the Bill on Amendments to the Use of Privatisation Proceeds Act (No. 414).
During the open microphone, Monika Haukanõmm took the floor.
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