Metso Insights Case studies Mining and metals refining Oil shale processing joint venture in Auvere, Estonia
Mining Metals refining
Aug 9, 2018

Oil shale processing joint venture in Auvere, Estonia

High-capacity plant produces 290,000 metric tons of shale oil annually and utilizes Outotec solid heat carrier technology to extract oil and produce electricity. Enefit has operated two Enefit140 production units in Auvere, Estonia for decades. An Enefit280 plant utilizing Enefit technology was added to the shale oil plant complex in 2012, utilizing Outotec solid heat carrier technology. Outotec and Enefit’s joint venture, Enefit Outotec Technology, will develop and license a new generation of Enefit technology, utilizing the solid heat carrier process to produce oil from oil shale and other hydrocarbonbearing materials. The new Enefit280 plant is named for its planned 280-ton oil shale feed capacity.

Outotec solid heat carrier process 

Wet oil shale is fed into a Venturi dryer, where the hot flue gas from the heat recovery boiler evaporates the moisture. Downstream of the dryer, a cyclone separates the dried oil shale from the gas stream. The dried oil shale and solid heat carrier – the ash from the semi-coke combustion process – are fed into a retort. The remaining solids particles in the flue gas are separated using an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) before the cleaned flue gas is released to a stack.

The dried oil shale is heated in the retort until it reaches reaction temperature through direct contact with the heat carrier solids. The organic material in the oil shale decomposes and hydrocarbon gas and oil fumes are released. These gases and fumes are separated from the remaining solids in a dust chamber and a cyclone. The gas is then transferred to a condensation unit for oil and fuel gas production.

Semi-coke from the dust chamber and cyclone is fed to a circulating fluidized bed. With a low calorific solids feed of 780 tons per hour, at the time of completion it was the largest circulating fluidized bed in the world.

Enefit280 Oil Shale Plant
Enefit280 Oil Shale Plant

Project scope

Outotec was the EPC contractor for the heat carrier process and the oil shale material feed preparation (600 t/h) upstream of the process.

*This case study has been written prior to the merger of Metso and Outotec.

Design Data

Mining Metals refining

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