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Estonia shale oil industry

Enefit140 oil plant

Enefit uses the two Enefit140 units to process around 1.6 million tons of oil shale per year and produce more than one million barrels of various shale oil fractions. During the early years there were numerous technical problems that the engineers had to solve and the plant was very inefficient. It took about 20 years to develop a reliable, efficient and profitable plant. To date, our engineers have re-designed and replaced around 70% of the plant's initial machinery.

The plant has two identical production lines, each able to process 140 tons of oil shale per hour. The plant has the capacity to produce up to 240,000 tons of liquid fuel and 60 million Nm3 of retort gas per year.

In addition to oil production units, the factory also has an accredited chemistry laboratory which can perform analysis of oil shale and shale oil. This allows on-site testing of products.



  • The retorting process of the Enefit280 technology is essentially water free
  • The production waste, ash, contains only ~1% organic compounds
  • CO2 emissions are significantly lower than those of electricity generation from oil shale


  • The process uses fine grained and low calorific value oil shale with particle size of 0-25 mm
  • All the produced/mined oil shale, even fine dust can be used


  • The chemical efficiency of the process is 80%

Oil production

  • Maximum production capacity is 240,000 tons, or 1.5 million barrels of liquid fuel per year
  • In recent years, annual production has reached over 1,3 million barrels
  • Three fractions of shale oil are currently produced
  • At the same time, 40 million Nm3 of high calorific retort gas (47 MJ/m3) are produced
  • At current production volumes, about 1,9 million tons of oil shale are used each year for oil production

Product quality

Shale oil:
Water content < 0,3%
Solid particles < 0,05%
Low viscosity (15-20 cSt at +80°C)
Low sulphur content (< 0,7%)
Low pour point (less than 0°C)
Retort gas:
High calorific value (11,200 kcal/m³)