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June 26, 2013

Enefit Outotec Technology commissions a shale-oil pilot plant in Frankfurt

Gerald Ondrey

Enefit Outotec Technology (EOT; Frankfurt, Germany;, a joint venture (JV) of Estonia's energy group Enefit and Outotec Oyj (Espoo, Finland;,a global leader in providing minerals and metals processing technology, has brought a pilot plant based on Enefit solid heat carrier process into operation in Frankfurt am Main, Germany that shall allow EOT to provide services for testing oil production from different types of oil shale.

The purpose of the pilot plant is to test the Enefit shale oil production process on different types of oil shale, collect data for adapting the process and produce test batches of shale oil for further analysis. “This is necessary to customize the industrial design of Enefit plants to the properties of a specific oil shale,” EOT’s CEO Alo Kelder says. “We have made an investment into a unique facility that allows our customers to benefit from more reliable and better performing shale oil plant designs.”

“Previously we have studied the characteristics and behavior of different oil shale including Estonian, Utah and Jordanian oil shale on our smaller bench scale test unit. The pilot plant enables us to simulate the original process used in Enefit280 plant in Auvere, Estonia and to produce oil in an amount that is necessary for upgrading test work. Pilot plant is an important tool for further development work and for optimizing the Enefit technology,” EOT’s CTO Robert Mergler says.

The hot-commissioning of the plant was conducted with Estonian oil shale. Over 1,200 L of shale oil was produced during the commissioning. Next test campaignes will be run with Utah and Jordanian oil shale.

Enefit Pilot Plant retort throughput is 1 metric tons (m.t.) of material per hour and its thermal capacity is 2 MW. The pilot plant it is available for third party test work.

Enefit technology is proven — it has been implemented in Estonian oil shale industry for over 30 years. Enefit´s annual shale oil production is over 1,2 million barrels in Estonia. The upgraded Enefit technology has been implemented in an industrial size Enefit280 shale oil plant in Estonia with a throughput of 280 m.t./h. The Enefit280 unit is under commissioning and will increase Estonia’s shale oil production significantly after brought to full production mode.




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