Prior to submitting the bill to the government, Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi (Centre) will first wait for approval from other ministries as well as the opinion of local governments and Est-For Invest OÜ, the company that planned to build the mill.
“The bill for the termination of the national designated spatial plan for the pulp mill is essentially complete,” Mäggi said. “Acording to law, the ministries must now approve it, and parties to the proceeding must submit their opinion and counterarguments, which is why it may change slightly. I will then submit the bill to the government, where we will decide conclusively over the termination of the national designated spatial plan.”
According to the minister, regardless of what the government ultimately decides, this does not mean that similar plants could not be established in Estonia in the future. “We are terminating a specific national designated spatial plan, but a location for the pulp mill could be sought elsewhere in the future, with a different capacity or with the national designated spatial plan of a local government,” he explained.
Mäggi said that entrepreneurial freedom is extremely important to the government, and the decision must not leave a false impression on entrepreneurs. “We must ensure opportunities for entrepreneurs for stable development and support large projects that enliven the Estonian economy,” he said. “In this case, it turned out that the pulp mill cannot be established in the form offered.”
Company to respond within month
The bill was submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications for approval. The bill was likewise forwarded for opinions and counterarguments to Est-For Invest as well as the local governments of the planning area, i.e. Viljandi, Tartu, Elva, Kambja, Kastre, Luunja and Peipsiääre Municipalities and the City of Tartu.
“We received a billl from Minister Mäggi for the termination of the national designated spatial plan with a proposal for comments within 30 days,” Est-For Invest said on social media. “We will consult with shareholders. We will respond within the given timeframe.”
According to the social media post, Est-For Invest seeks to establish Europe’s most modern pulp mill in Estonia, and find a solution along with the Estonian government and local governments. Parties to the proceedings have 30 days to submit opinions and counterarguments.