The Estonian oil shale processing industry is a traditional industrial branch of our state, which started under the first Estonian republic. The local oil shale processing industry began supplying Estonian households with heat and electricity in 1924 and was a proud and a strong development motor of our state.
This industry, which was developed through the hard work and knowledge of the Estonian people, bore an imposing name – Esimese Eesti Põlevkivitööstuse AS (First Estonian Oil Shale Industry). An oil shale processing complex established in Kohtla-Järve distinguished itself by utilising the talents of the best Estonian engineers, such as Märt Raud, Paul Kogerman and many others, whose aim was to maintain and develop this unique industry. Thanks to the oil shale industry, the town of Kohtla-Järve sprung up within the first ten years, and the three largest shale oil plants of their time were established, one of which is still in operation and produces high-quality fuel (up to 32 thousand tons per year). On the back of these big successes was the day-to-day work of hundreds and thousands of people.
In the past 85 years, the oil shale industry has made huge strides, and today our long-standing enterprise meets the highest standards of the European Union. This historically-important industry is based on privately owned Estonian capital and operates under the internationally known brand of VKG.
The concern employs about 1,500 people. Prior to the 85th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, and through the involvement of Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia, VKG’s new plant at a cost of 1.1 bln kroons was opened. This new plant is a monument to the development of local life and industry.
The activities of VKG were recognised through the Estonian Enterprise Award 2009, when the concern’s oil shale processing enterprise, VKG Oil AS, received the title of “Best Estonian Enterprise 2009”. In tandem with other large enterprises in Kohtla-Järve, we uphold the traditions of an Estonian industrial region and contribute to the prosperity of our workers.
We have been working continuously for the past 85 years and are still inspired by local oil shale, the components of which are used in the composition of the finest modern perfumery products and some of the most renowned automobiles brands in Estonia, such as Lexus.
We highly appreciate the brown gold of Estonia.