Eesti; Kirde-Eesti;
Location of affected unit(s)
Mining / Quarrying
Mining And Quarrying
Extraction Of Crude Petroleum And Natural Gas
06.1 - Extraction of crude petroleum
European Globalisation Fund (EGF)
Year: 2016, Case number: 3

500 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
15 January 2016
Employment effect (start)
20 January 2016
Foreseen end date
31 January 2016


Viru Keemia Grupp AS, Estonia’s largest private oil shale producer and one of the biggest employers in Ida-Virumaa, Estonia, announced that they are forced to lay off 500 hundred workers due to low global oil prices. The company will lose 25% of its workforce and will shut down its kiviter-technology based plants as the company cannot compete with current global oil prices as manufacturing is not cost-effective and the company is forced to cut their production costs significantly. The company stated that while current steps are very difficult, they hope these measures will help to ensure the company's sustainability in the longer run. The company notified Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF). The EUIF stated that they have the means and measures to help the people who have been left without work and will cooperates with local trade unions to find ways to relieve the job loss.

Ida-Virumaa has one of the highest unemployment rate in Estonia and the situation has become increasingly worrying within last year when other companies in the area also had to lay off employees due to decreasing oil prices (see Nitrofert case and Eesti Energia Kaevandused ).

The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund has ensured that they are ready to provide all 500 people with necessary services and support (providing counselling, finding possible job offers and providing active labour market services the people might need to find a new job). However, in December 2015, there were more than 6,400 unemployed people in Ida-Virumaa, while according to EUIF there were only 600 vacancies. The National Audit Office has called on the government for not having any specific action plan for Ida-Virumaa despite several large redundancies happening in the region, where oil shale production companies are the main employers.


  • 15 January 2016: ERR
  • 15 January 2016: Delfi Ärileht
  • 15 January 2016: Delfi Ärileht


Eurofound (2016), Viru Keemia Grupp, Closure in Estonia, factsheet number 86296, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/86296.