Estonian ex-president Kersti Kaljulaid announced on Wednesday that she has left the supervisory board of energy group Alexela because the company is still importing gas produced in Russia.
“I joined the supervisory board of Alexela in the spring. It is likely no secret that energy and the green turn are exciting topics for me and the offer to get my hands dirty, so to speak, for the first time in several decades is very interesting. Alexela has several projects that are encouraging the Estonian economy to become greener,” Kaljulaid wrote on social media.
She said that when she started on Alexela’s supervisory board in April, import from Russia had been stopped and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is the most difficult fuel to find alternatives for in other markets, was also being supplied from Kazakhstan.
“Major consumers of LPG include the food industry and farms that cannot use alternative fuels today,” Kaljulaid added.
“Unfortunately, the failures concerning deliveries from Kazakhstan in the summer were nevertheless replaced with LPG produced in Russia. Although the company is looking for alternatives again, it takes time. Of course, I cannot approve of business with Russia, so I submitted an application today to leave the supervisory board,” Kaljulaid said.
“I hope that both Alexela and other European companies will become free from Russian energy as soon as possible,” Kaljulaid said. “Of course, this also requires international cooperation and decision-making courage, but in terms of LPG specifically also the European sanctions mechanism and large investments. Acting alone, our food industry comes under threat.”
According to AS Alexela, the company has been trying to find a solution for LPG gas supplies for a year and a half. In January, a replacement was found in the form of Kazakhstan, but cooperation with Kazakhstan ended in the summer due to the energy crisis in the country.
“Today, we are back to square one when it comes to the LPG gas we need in the food industry and agriculture. It is extremely regrettable that imports from Kazakhstan ended up being a temporary solution,” Marti Haal, chairman of the management board of Alexela, said. “Since it is not a sanctioned product in Europe or in Estonia, it is difficult to find solutions. It is difficult for an Estonian entrepreneur alone to do what European foreign policy has so far failed to do.”
LPG is used by local food producers, meaning it is a gas that is used, for example, in industries where there are no connections for the use of pipeline gas. Since it is an important energy source from the point of view of food security, for which there are currently no competitively priced alternatives, it is not a sanctioned product in Europe.
Marti Haal thanked Kersti Kaljulaid for her cooperation and stated that with Kaljulaid’s departure, the supervisory board will lose an important expert. Kaljulaid started working on Alexela’s supervisory board in April of this year. Hans Pajoma, Andreas Laane and Priit Penjam will continue on the supervisory board.
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