Just Transition Fund (JTF), a €354 million investment program aimed at building a greener and more competitive industry while maintaining social inclusion, has already made big waves in the Estonian economy. It has supported breakthrough projects like the Neo magnet factory, a €100 million facility which will be built in the city of Narva and power Europe’s hi-tech production. Now, more success stories are lining up for the region.
Heavy machinery company Agricom Tehnika is investing almost €2 million to establish a waste timber and farmland biomass collection and recycling centre in Ida-Virumaa. Aquaphor is investing €11 million to start the production of water purification devices that also work within the framework of smart homes. The state is supporting the former project with €900,000 from the Just Transition Fund, and the latter project with €3.2 million.
Bringing the greener future closer
Agricom Tehnika OÜ began its activities by offering heavy machinery services, including wood chopping. Through continued development, the company has branched out into the production and sale of full-cycle wood chips. “Today we are able to cover the entire production cycle of wood chips, from bush cutting and chopping all the way to logistics and warehousing,” said Agricom Tehnika executive officer Madis Olt.
Over the last few years, the company has started development activities to increase the value of waste timber and farmland biomass. According to Olt, the company has been testing the suitability of different inputs for biofuel production. “We’ve been using waste timber from construction, stumps left over from logging, spoiled hay and silage balls, corn storage waste, etc.,” explained the CEO. “All of these are valuable materials that are usually stored as waste, but we can use them to produce biofuel.”
Within the project co-financed by the Just Transition Fund, the company plans to expand its service package and commence production of its new product, i.e. biofuel from waste timber and farmland biomass. For this purpose, a collection and recycling centre for waste wood and farmland biomass will be created in Ida-Virumaa, which will begin production of wood chips for fuelling boiler houses. In total, five new positions with a higher than-average salary for the sector will be added, as well as ensuring competitiveness in product development and production volume growth. The eligible budget of the project is 1,993,650.00 euros, of which the grant is 907,117.50 euros.
The main activity of Aquaphor International OÜ is the development and production of water purification systems for households, and the company is currently one of the technological leaders in this field. The sales volume of finished products made in Estonia was 64.2 million euros in 2022, and the main markets were Europe and Israel.
With the support of the Ida-Viru business investment support programme, Aquaphor plans to implement a project to start the production of new products. “Our plan is to develop and produce more sophisticated water purification devices that are capable of differentiated water treatment and function within the integrated conception of the “smart home” and the Internet of Things,” said Aquaphor representative Mihhail Fomitsjov.
As a result of the project, 33 new jobs with a higher added value and a salary level 20% higher than the average in the same sector will be created within one year after the end of the project. The eligible budget of the project is 11,626,199.00 euros, of which the grant is 3,229,530.00 euros.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology, Tiit Riisalo, says that any investments into reshaping the economy of Ida-Virumaa are very welcome. “In the case of Aquaphor, we are dealing with a large international group that is already providing many job opportunities, and Agricom Tehnika is a smaller company built on local capital,” the minister explained. “Small and large companies are both welcome to apply for Ida-Virumaa support.” The minister added that Estonia still has over one hundred million euros in grant money waiting to be handed out to good people, and invited all companies to inquire further at the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency.
Want to benefit from JTF support measures and a best-in-class business environment? Book a time via e-Consulting to speak to your personal advisor.