Pan-Baltic Infrastructure Summit

Tallinn, Estonia | 3 October, 2019

Play summit 2018 video

11 OCTOBER 2018




Lauri Tammiste, Centre Director of SEI Tallinn

Is it possible to reach climate neutral economy by 2050? The European Commission asked the same question from all of its member states. The Estonian government did not give a firm answer and ordered a climate report from Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) Tallinn – an International think tank with over 250 different environment specialists from all over the world. Is climate neutrality achievable, how much will it cost and what needs to be done to live in a climate neutral country in 30 years? Director of SEI Tallinn Lauri Tammiste explained their findings.

How did you compose your research to find out if climate neutrality is achievable?

In this research one of the fundamental starting points was the inventory of greenhouse gases. There is a pan-European agreement on how greenhouse gas emissions are calculated and this includes emission inventory. The results and trends of these calculations are reported to the European Commission. So using the inventory method is very important to ensure that the report would be comparable and trustworthy.

A very positive example of this research project was that the workgroup from the government’s side was very diverse. There were representatives from Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Ministry of Education as well as from Ministry of Defence. I myself have been researching environment and energetics for a long time in Estonia and I now saw that a change has happened: different parties acknowledge that it’s a broad question and not a problem of just a few people in Ministry of Environment.

The first main question from the government was whether it is at all possible to reach climate neutrality? Can we see steps that would make the picture come together? The other question was that if the goal is reachable, what would then be the steps needed and how much do we need to invest?

How would you answer these questions now?

In short, our conclusion is that, yes, climate neutrality is achievable. If we take a look at the year 2050 – what is the energy consumption, needs and demands, then it is possible to form a functioning economy with far fewer emissions.

What is also important about climate neutrality is that we’re not talking about bringing all emissions down to zero. In some areas, in agriculture for example, it’s very difficult to bring emissions to zero because there will always be some emissions related to livestock. Climate neutrality actually means that the ratio between emissions and capturing is at least in balance, or the rate of capturing is slightly higher. The more we can enhance natural capturing, the better chance to get the picture together by 2050.

How bad is the current picture in Estonia?

In the recent past, our greenhouse gas emissions have been 6-7 times above the level that they should be in the year 2050. This year some emissions have lowered due to electricity production but nevertheless our goal includes many times fewer emissions by the year 2050. If we look at today’s CO2 emissions per capita then Estonia is clearly in the frontline of Europe. This means that the structural change must be quite big. However, we can say that this is concentrated mainly in the energetics sector where the saving potential is the highest. And I think that the next in terms of difficulty is the transportation sector.

How can we reach emission rates that are 6-7 times lower?

I would say that there are three main steps. The first step is energy efficiency. If we would be more efficient in house construction, production industry and transport, then a big plus is that the emissions are lowering. Another advantage is that we need less investments in production capacity to satisfy the energy demand. Many energy efficiency solutions provide financial saving and make achieving climate neutrality more favourable for the society.

The second step is to make energy carriers climate neutral – that’s electricity and heat production and transportation fuels. All these sectors need changes. The third step is capturing. It’s probably most reasonable to invest in afforesting out of use lands and turn peat soil areas into natural grasslands. There’s a new forestry development plan in the works. We should agree there which capturing rates are desirable and then target cutting capacity according to that.

These are roughly the three directions. Which exact actions to take and to what extent – that’s a decision of the government. But we need to keep in mind that the tempo needs to be quite fast. We cannot agree that we will do just a little bit.

So it means prioritising this topic and taking fast action?

Yes. We created one possible scenario for reaching climate neutrality and one of our conclusions was that it needs to be a made priority. If the government makes a positive decision to take that ambition as our goal, then it means that all future actions must support this goal. It means that with every investment the state makes, we need to question whether it contributes to climate neutrality or not. I think that all ministries should have a clear action plan about what are the next 1-5 things in coming 3 years that bring fast effect.

There has been a leak from the report to media that your estimated volume of investment to achieve climate neutrality is close to 17 billion euros? Is it so?

Yes, the investment volume is around 17 billion euros if we want to provide energy supply security with domestic capacity. But we are talking about 30 years and among that technologies which’s exact future prices we do not know yet. This estimation is given based on today’s best known information. The need for investments is probably bigger in the beginning and then gradually gets smaller. So in the next 10 years we are actually talking about 4% of GDP, then in the years 2030-2040 about 2% and in the end of the period about 1%. So the financial evaluation just shows the volume of these actions. If you think about investing a few percents of GDP to provide a cleaner, more resource efficient and more competitive future economy and environment, then it seems like a reasonable investment.

In addition to the analysis we also created a modelling tool where ministries can continually renew information. For example, when analysing the best information in five years, the tool creates a new scenario regarding CO2 emissions as well as costs and savings. An important message of the report is that we don’t have to set all activities until 2050 at this moment, it would be silly. It’s just clear that we cannot avoid some activities and we need to do them in the coming decade.

What are the most critical steps that we should tackle first in the coming decade?

There are many cost-efficient measures in energy efficiency. These need to be done because it’s purely saved money in the future. For example, wind parks and solar panels in energetics, electrification in transportation – these are the things that need to happen. If not, then reaching climate neutrality can get more and more difficult or also more expensive.

What could be different in people’s practical life in 30 years?

The practical life would not be too different really. I think that maybe it would be noticeable in everyday decision-making – that it would have become normal to think about, what are the environmentally-friendly choices. I see the change in attitudes already today but not so much in behaviour yet. Behaviour just needs more time to catch up. It seems to me that people are afraid that the change is going to be very big and we need to give up everything because of that. Actually, we do not need to give up everything, we just need to manage our resources wisely and not waste them.

If we think about the year 1991 when Estonia regained its independence – there has been less time since that to date than there is until 2050. What a change! I think that it seems quite crazy, what kind of changes can be executed during one generation. Why should we then think that Estonia has lost its innovativeness, adaptability and ability to change. I would rather take the last 25 years as a positive example of how we can be very fast and flexible changers. We are a very innovative country and nation and I see no reason why we couldn’t tackle this challenge. We could rather think that if we move in the front line, we’ll have a chance to create a competitive advantage for our economy and make our own lives and environment better.


Povilas Poderskis, CEO of Vilnius City

Povilas Poderskis is a former IT developer and currently the CEO of Vilnius City – one of the fastest evolving and cities in the region. With its growing population and young citizens there are many new demands for the infrastructure and city management procedures. Poderskis told us a little bit about what does Vilnius have in store for the future.

You have a professional background in IT. Which skills and experiences from IT can you use in your work in the municipality?

While I was working in IT, I specialised mainly on IT project management and software development, I was usually working with either governmental or financial institutions. So I know a lot of the processes both in finances and the public sector from inside out, because I programmed them and created algorithms. It has been very useful for me from the technical and the system management perspective. Knowing all this allows me to get a better structured view of how a municipality or a government works and how to create a more structured change throughout the system and throughout the companies that we manage. We are now trying to look at the municipality as a holding company. We have a lot of municipal agencies, institutions and facilities. For example, a road construction company, public transportation and so on.

You have made some great progress with implementing new IT solutions in Vilnius City Municipality. What do you consider the most useful IT solutions that have been implemented in Vilnius lately?

Actually, a lot of value can come from implementing really simple things. One thing we have done is the financial management system in the municipality and the document management system, which allows us to control things better and do things faster. But lately we have used a lot of tools like Facebook Workplace to improve internal communication, so that more people would know about the things that are going on in the city. Throughout the company group we have a total of 30 000 employees counting all the workers, teachers and all of the employees of all of the companies – that is a huge pool of people. If you disseminate the information to them, you can get feedback, good insights or just a better sense of understanding how everything is working and what doesn’t work. So from the last period, Facebook Workplace has been the most impactful solution I guess.

Also, we’re just now consolidating all the work plans of all the companies into one database. For example, the city has plans and contractors to do repair work or build new bicycle paths, roads or sidewalks and now we are involving the heating company who also has plans to renovate their network that lies under those infrastructural objects. With the help of this database a lot of synergy can be found when planning construction works. Some time ago, there were just stupid things happening. We built a new bicycle path and just a week after that the water company came in and destroyed part of the path because they needed to renovate their network there. They did reconstruct the road back to its initial shape but if they did the works two weeks earlier, there would have been no need to recreate the road and they would’ve saved money. The database helps us to look at the municipality in a more holistic way and interconnection of data is really helping us grow.

Has there been any resistance for IT innovation?

Knowing that any innovation or IT system implementation is followed by some resistance helps us prepare for that. My philosophy is that we need to show people how the IT solutions can help us to help them. IT systems and digitalisation as such can allow us to help them save time so they can do more work, or instead, do some other more creative work and we do encourage that. We try to mitigate the resistance but ofcourse things happen and a lot of people are still unhappy because they don’t like the system or they feel uncomfortable “being watched” in a digital fashion. Some people are telling us that we’re spending too much or are just confronting us by telling that they are not willing to use the system for some reason.

Do you feel that the demands of Vilnius City citizens for new infrastructure have changed in the last years? How?

I think we’ve managed to do a lot of repair work in the city which allows us to remove some things from the public conversation. We did a lot of street renovation work – this was a public topic few years ago but is not anymore now.

We are now in a situation where we can build quite good homes and quite good offices and we have expectations that somehow the public infrastructure has caught up with it. But when we go to the hospital, to the kindergarten or to the school, the infrastructure is outdated and we are not able to fix things quite as fast. And that is something that’s been bothering us for a few years now.

For example, there are some schools that have been recently built and those schools are in high demand. Having schools that are more prestigious than others means that they create a lot of traffic. People from all around the city drive to those schools and this creates discomfort for the parents and strains the road infrastructure. So what we’ve seen is that the answer to traffic problems lies in school renovation and we want to catch up, this means that we are not willing to renovate schools like we did up until now. We need to pull the resources that we’re going to spend for the next 20 years and to expand this all over the school network. This will create a basic level of schools that will be in a good shape.

In more general terms, we are now writing our new masterplan that will set the direction for the city for the next 30 years in terms of general development and infrastructure. We’re planning to build at least 5 new streets within the city limit. That will connect some of the areas and make the network much more stable.

Do you have a dream or a vision about what future municipality CEOs would be like?

I think that the future CEOs of the municipalities will care about how to make the services that are delivered to the citizens much faster and much better quality. They will not be interested in political quarrels or battles and they will do a lot more data driven decisions. And a lot of good infrastructure projects and good services will be created so that the citizens would have a good quality of life.


Criss Uudam, Investment Director of BaltCap’s Infrastucture Fund

Savings in people's retirement funds can be used for the construction of the country's four-lane roads as well as for the construction of other important infrastructure objects. This way, the higher cost of capital provided by private equity will return to pension fundraisers, providing pension funds with long-term returns and providing the infrastructure for future growth and more carefree retirement.

The Estonian state can borrow, issue bonds or finance projects with private capital, or PPPs (public-private partnership), to finance infrastructure development. Of course, there are other alternatives. For example, freezing retirement support raise for the elderly or the salaries of civil servants for a few years. But such measures can be considered more than unlikely for political reasons. Economic growth can also help with financing infrastructure, but Estonia's economic growth will eventually slowly decline as the population is aging.

Private equity is the alternative to sovereign debt

When talking about PPP projects, it is often pointed out that such projects are more expensive than financing the projects with government loans. And this is true - the state can lend on more favorable terms than private investors.

However, the stringent budgetary criteria set by the European Union do not allow countries to increase their public debt significantly at the same time. This is not a foolish rule - this way, the European Union is controlling the governments' willingness to swiftly deliver their election promises. Promises that can overheat the local industrial and construction sector. If several countries would do so at the same time, a regional recession would be inevitable.

Private equity is the alternative to sovereign debt. Private equity with the largest investor base is concentrated in pension funds. Funds that are seeking, among other things, low-risk investment opportunities - high-yield infrastructure projects fall into this category.

This way, the higher cost of capital offered by a private investor will return to pension collectors, providing higher returns and providing the infrastructure for future economic growth and more secure retirement.

Thus, the use of more expensive capital by the state is not a problem for the taxpayer if he himself generates income from the investment and in which he invests his capital in the form of taxes.

PPP projects financed by private capital should not be compared with the implementation of projects with public loans, but rather with the cost of not implementing them at all. For example, roads have an impact on regional development, on time saved and on human lives.

You can build PPP roads with road toll as well as without it – in the latter case, the financial return is immediately entered into the project and the private sector partner does not risk with insufficient use of the road and can focus on ensuring its long-term smooth use.

Positive effects for building or renovating school buildings, police stations and other public buildings earlier with PPPs could be a more effective learning process, a more efficient public sector, and the energy and CO2 reductions which is a problem currently acute for the state. Perhaps we have also learned from earlier PPP examples in Estonia and will be able to organise procurement in a transparent way ensuring broad competition.

Elsewhere in the world, meeting budgetary criteria is not the only reason for favoring PPP. The benefits include shorter construction times for private-led projects and long-term infrastructure optimization, which can often be a reason for using more innovative technologies and can thus create an additional impulse for private sector businesses.

Who benefits?

The Estonian state can finance four-lane roads, the Saaremaa bridge and other infrastructure projects through PPP projects. In addition, local authorities could use PPPs to renew aging buildings, or to build new tram lines, for example.

So far, the problems of Estonian pension funds have been recognized in yields and minimal willingness to invest in Estonia. Some funds have actually outperformed inflation in recent years but investments for Estonia are still quite rare. This is partly because there are no major projects in Estonia where large amounts of capital can be invested at low risk.

No matter what the future holds for the so-called pension reform, the PPP projects planned in Estonia will still be profitable for the future pensioner. The question is whether the direct retirement income is earned by an Estonian pensioner or by a pensioner from another country.

The proposed changes to the pension system will make Estonian pension funds more cautious about participating in long-term investments, as they will have to take into account that the depositors can have a desire to realize assets quickly.

When comparing the logic of the financial world and the interests of pensioners and taxpayers, PPP is like a magic engine for developing the state’s infrastructure, because it unites the interests of three parties. However, the proposed changes in Estonian pension system can carry a risk that the profit from the infrastructure developments can be earned by foreign retirees whose yield is provided by the Estonian taxpayer.


Kadri Matteus, COBALT

There has been very little talk about PPP (public-private partnership) deals in the public. In Estonia, the first that comes to mind is probably the deal between two businessmen and the mayor of Tallinn for renovating and maintaining Tallinn’s schools. However, on closer inspection we find that PPP deals are not so rare at all and could be used for national big scale projects as well.

So far, public-private partnership projects have been used mainly for carrying out smaller or medium sized national duties. Nevertheless, experiences elsewhere in the world and in the Baltic states have shown that PPP-projects can be a successful solution for creating or maintaining many infrastructural facilities. Kadri Matteus, a specialist council at COBALT law firm and a recognized expert and speaker in public procurement law gave us an overview about public-private partnership and the legal context around it.

How would you explain in short, what does PPP mean as a term?

There hasn’t been much talk about PPP deals so this term is actually unfamiliar to us. In essence it means that both the public and private sector are going to solve a public task together. It’s more than just a usual procurement contract, because instead of procuring a one-time construction work, for example for the construction of Tallinn-Tartu highway, with PPP there’s a transition of certain risk to the private sector. Also, the length of the co-operation is usually quite long, for example 25 or 30 years. The contractor, be that the country or the local municipality, will pay their private enterprise partner according to a long term scheme.

We don’t actually use the term as much because it doesn’t really differ from what the law calls the construction concession. There are unified rules in the European Union, according to which these sorts of projects are framed as construction concessions.

What sort of PPP projects can you find in Estonia?

The most well-known example in Estonia is probably the renovation of the schools in Tallinn, but actually the most recent project is the construction of the “super ministry” building. Riigi Kinnisvara (State real estate) gave the right of superficies of the state’s land to a developer from the private sector, who was supposed to erect buildings according to the government’s vision and later rent the building out to the state. It’s the most typical type of a PPP project in Estonia. In addition to that there’s the on-going construction of Regionaalhaigla’s (Northern-Tallinn Regional hospital) parking house as a concession project and another well-known object in Tallinn – the building of the social houses in Raadiku. Many local governments have built leisure buildings with construction concessions, too.

The thing that usually goes unnoticed is that almost all of the waste management in Estonia is done with the help of the private sector. In addition, the district heating service in Tallinn, that is delegated to Utilitas – the co-operation is regulated with a very long concession contract made in 2001. The same scheme works with many water entrepreneurs. Some regional governments do it themselves, others give it to the private sector. It is their decision whether they feel that they can provide the service themselves or if they will give it to the private sector, who could perhaps be more innovative, flexible and could manage to do things quicker. The courthouse in Jõhvi was built with a PPP deal and the police house in Kuressaare, so actually there are many examples of these kinds projects. What hasn’t yet been done in Estonia, are infrastructure projects: roads, tunnels, bridges, which is actually a very common PPP project elsewhere in the world.

Why should a state fulfill PPP projects?

Usually there are financial reasons behind PPP-projects. As has lately been said in media, we don’t want to increase the country’s debt. So if a long-term project includes some sort of a risk, it will transfer to a concession business and the expenses will be transferred to the concession business’ balance. This means that, deceptively, neither the state or the local government will not have debt.

Also, if the local government or the state is maintaining a public service by themselves, it has to do a public procurement for their every purchase, which is not the most effective way. This is where a concession contract could help. Usually contractors compete on the basis of the cheapest price. Because the price is fixed, the overall winner of the procurement will have the economic pressure to buy the necessary services from the financially best partner possible, that’s settled by the market. Therefore, the everyday maintenance of a private company is much more effective compared to the state or the local government. That’s a big argument to why we should do anything with the cooperation of the state and the private sector.

Why aren’t there any large-scale infrastructure projects fulfilled as PPPs in Estonia so far?

Financial considerations, nothing else. At least based on the recent opinion stories it seems that one important fear is that a PPP will cost more than the state’s own financing. And that is really the only downside. For example, there was a economic report released about Saaremaa bridge last year which stated that PPP was the most expensive alternative to financing the project. That makes PPPs largely a political decision. If we can’t afford a loan, then the road or a bridge will not be built, but if we really need this, we can use an alternative and partner with the private sector, which will not increase debt. What it finally comes down to is whether we care more about the high price of the PPP deal or the fact that the infrastructure development will be built at all. You just have to weigh the pros and cons.

What are the biggest risks regarding PPPs to private enterprises?

The main risk is usually the risk of demand. For example if the project is only financed by the end user. The state can ensure a certain fixed payment but it doesn’t cover all the costs of the project, it’s more like seed money. If the earnings are only collected from the end users, then the total income is purely dependent on the people that for exampe use the road and pay toll. Another risk is whether a company can fulfill all the requirements of the contract. You have to operate the infrastructure for the whole 30 years. It’s hard to predict all the expenses for a period that long. Generally, no-one will compensate the unforeseen expenses for the concessionaire.

But what are the main risks for the state?

I think that the main risk is, again, financial. It’s possible that as the time passes, taking loans would get easier for the state or local municipalities and it would be possible to carry out the same projects at a much better price than under a concession. Secondly, the state will most likely remain tied to the same company for 30 years. But what if that provider goes bankrupt for some reason?

Should we create a separate framework for PPP projects in Estonia? What is Estonia’s legal ground for PPP deals right now?

I think that in Estonia it’s enough if we frame PPP projects as construction concessions or service concessions. That’s why I don’t really see the need nor a realistic way of how to create a complementary legal framework. European Union law defines the term construction concession and prescribes quite detailed rules of how to carry out such procedures. Violating those rules would mean violating the European Union law.

Rather, the question is how to prepare contracts which will be signed in the end of the concession procedure. Will there be negotiations, what is the financing scheme, how is the project paid. For example, if a big fear is that the private sector will get rich, there are ways to manage risks with certain contract clauses that allow to review the paying schemes after some time. The public procurement law is already very long and I don’t see the need for a new law. A guideline or some recommendations that would provide guidance on how act well in the current legal framework would perhaps be helpful.

Do PPP projects have any legal limitations in Estonia?

Our state law prohibits delegating state’s core functions to the private sector. For example we can’t build private prisons, although it’s common in some places of the world. So we do have some limitations. Everything else, which is not state’s core function, could in principle be solved by PPP. There are no insurmountable legal obstacles, it’s purely a matter of rationality.

Are there any examples of PPP projects in the world that Estonia could learn from?

If we go abroad to see the different projects that can be done in co-operation with the private sector, we can get quite good ideas. For example in Lithuania there are many ports and bridges delegated to the private sector. The private sector may offer more innovative solutions to solve state’s problems, but it requires thinking outside of the box which is certainly difficult.

What do you think, what should be Estonia’s next big PPP projects?

I don’t exactly know how feasible it would be, but there has been discussion about the Tallinn’s train roundabout. Right now, we can’t ride a train from the western line to Peetri, for example. If we could build a train line to Tallinn roundabout, then perhaps it could be done as a PPP. Also, there has been talk about connecting the tramways to establish a tram connection to Viimsi. The city of Tallinn already has many experiences with PPPs and maybe would be more inclined to carry out new projects, too.

load all
Third Edition

Third Edition

Third Edition

The Pan-Baltic Infrastructure Summit will take place for the third time on October 3, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia. The conference is designed to explore Baltic infrastructure and trends in its future development. INFRA 2019 will bring together policy makers, senior experts, investors, lenders, developers and infrastructure asset owners from Baltic states for interactive discussion and networking. Infrasummit 2019 will concentrate on trends and opportunities of infrastructure yet unchallenged in Estonia.

The Clutch for Renewable Energy in Estonia. The National Development Plan of the Energy Sector until 2030 (NDPES) states that renewables will account for 50% of domestic final electricity consumption in Estonia in 2018. Although Estonia positions itself as an environmentally thinking digital society, presently the proportion of renewable sources in domestic electricity consumption is only 17%. This means that the servers, computers, electric cars, trains, trams and all the other infrastructure is mostly powered by shale oil. But how to proceed from here? Do we see our future in wind, nuclear, solar and biomass – or something else?

The Construction of Infrastructure to decrease CO2. Although building roads and bridges for vehicles might seem like conducing traffic, it needs to be emphasised that having a network of gravel roads would be the most anti-environmental option of all. Vehicles spend less energy and emit less CO2 when the friction and distance are as low as possible. Having a road network with a continuous variation of speed limits is also not in the best interests of the environment nor the mental health of the passengers as it conduces acceleration, which burns energy. The same might apply for the ferries carrying myriads of cars for 8 kilometers forth and back. How can we do better?

Play summit 2018 video

In partnership with


Minds behind event

INFRA 2019 is organized by BaltCap, the largest private equity and venture capital fund manager in the Baltics, in partnership with law firm COBALT.

Tallinn, Noblessner Foundry

Tallinn, Noblessner Foundry

Tallinn, Noblessner Foundry

The future of infrastructure of the Baltic States will be discussed in a former submarine factory. All together, twelve bars-class submarines were built here in between 1913-1917, nine of those were incorporated to the The Baltic Fleet and three to the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Empire.

The foundry is presently under renovation and will open its doors in August 2019. The address is 10 Peetri, Tallinn, Estonia.

Register here

See on Google Maps


Infrasummit 2019

Matthias Woitok

Head of Structured Finance for North, Central, South-East Europe & Turkey at European Investment Bank

Successful Infrastructure Procurement – Market Developments, EIB's views and Outlook

Mārtiņš Lazdovskis

Board member at Latvian State roads

€160M Kekava bypass: drive out from Riga in 20 minutes

Anthony Charles Marsh

Investment Committee member at BaltCap Infrastructure, Aviva Investors

Panel - Preparing and Structuring Bankable PPP Projects

Giedrius Rūškys

Loan Officer of Project and Structured Finance of North, Central and South East Europe at European Investment Bank

Panel - Preparing and Structuring Bankable PPP Projects

Kadri Matteus

Specialist Counsel at COBALT

Panel - Preparing and Structuring Bankable PPP Projects

Gediminas Miškinis

Senior transaction manager at project finance unit, SEB Lithuania

Panel - Preparing and Structuring Bankable PPP Projects

Vilius Girkontas

Senior Manager at the Nordic Investment Bank, Helsinki

Panel - How can we build the bridge to Saaremaa?

Povilas Poderskis

CEO of Vilnius City

Next generation of Vilnius

Tom Georg Indrevik

Vice Mayor in Fjell Municipality and the Coming Mayor of Øygarden Municipality

€1B PPP investment to provide better commuting option for 40 000 people

Kristjan Tamla

CEO of Swedbank Investment Funds AS

Panel - How can we build the bridge to Saaremaa?

Linas Jasiukevičius

Expert in Public-Private Partnership Unit at Central Project Management Agency

Panel - Preparing and Structuring Bankable PPP Projects

Margus Kohava

Former Board Member of Estonian Cell and Est-For Invest

Panel - How can we build the bridge to Saaremaa?

Arto Räty

Senior Vice President of Fortum Corporate Affairs and Communications

Introduction of the Nordic Energy Report

Lauri Tammiste

Director of SEIT

What needs to be done by 2050 in order to make Estonia climate neutral?

Annika Arras

CEO of Miltton New Nordics, Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility Expert

Panel - What change should happen to make Estonia climate neutral?

Triin Uustalu

Chief Marketing Officer at Veriff

Panel - What change should happen to make Estonia climate neutral?

Andy Grey

Consultant at UK Launch Services Limited

Towards A Space Transportation Infrastructure

Martin Lengi

Director of Strategic Planning and member of the Management Board at Estonian Road Administration

Panel - How can we build the bridge to Saaremaa?


Infrastructure And Environment – Friends Or Foes?


Gathering, Breakfast Snacks, Coffee


Intro by the Host

Host: Kristjan Lepik, Product Manager at Topia


Successful Infrastructure Procurement – Market Developments, EIB's views and Outlook

Speaker: Matthias Woitok, Head of Structured Finance for North, Central, South-East Europe & Turkey at European Investment Bank

The keynote will focus on the conditions for successful infrastructure procurement involving private capital, based on EIB’s experiences throughout Europe. PPP and Project Finance structures in the infrastructure sector are going through some profound changes and are faced with challenges that are common for a lot of countries/administrations and EIB would use this opportunity to provide its analysis of these trends and share its views on ways forward. In addition, the debate on Climate Change is likely to have a growing impact on procuring and financing infrastructure assets and so this topic will be also be addressed.


€160M Kekava bypass: drive out from Riga in 20 minutes

Speaker: Mārtiņš Lazdovskis, Board Member at Latvian State Roads

Latvia has decided to build the Kekava bypass as a PPP project. As a result of the project, Latvians will be able to exit Riga’s city centre to the south in less than 20 minutes. The project’s negotiations started in 2005, but the state had difficulties with funding the project. The solution was a PPP instrument and it will be the biggest road building project in the Baltics to be performed with the cooperation of the public and private sector.


Panel Discussion: Preparing and Structuring Bankable PPP Projects

Giedrius Rūškys, Loan Officer at European Investment Bank
Kadri Matteus, Specialist Counsel in Public Procurements at COBALT Estonia
Martins Lazdovskis, Board Member at Latvian State Roads
Linas Jasiukevičius, Expert of PPP Unit at Central Project Management Agency
Gediminas Miškinis, Senior Project Manager at SEB

Moderator: Anthony Charles Marsh, Investment Committee member at BaltCap Infrastructure, Aviva Investors

There is an existing track record of successful PPP projects within the Baltic States – the public sector professionals are as knowledgeable as the private sector. However, the latter statement only applies only to Lithuania. The track record of mutually reasonable PPP projects in Latvia is short and it’s almost nonexistent in Estonia. Presently there’s an ongoing discussion of connecting Saaremaa island to continental Estonia by constructing a bridge between Muhu and Virtsu. It has been estimated that the investment could reach to 400-500 million euros. Estonian state has limited options to finance the development with debt due to EU budgetary restrictions. What should be taken into account in preparing Saaremaa bridge as a PPP project? How should the investment be structured with an acceptable risk level for all sides? How to design such projects to get the commitment of financial institutions? What are the options for mitigating political and regulatory risk in the structuring of PPP projects? These are some of the questions, we are going to target during the discussion.


Lunch Break


Next Generation of Vilnius

Speaker: Povilas Poderskis, CEO of Vilnius City

Povilas Poderskis will tell about the last 30 years of Vilnius, how new generation has grown up and what the new young and ambitious generation of people, living in Vilnius, require from Vilnius Municipality (arguably the best in the whole city history) in terms of upgrade of outdated infrastructure. Poderskis is the acting CEO of Vilnius city, with 8+ years experience in IT and management, he’s a cofounder of various social and educational initiatives.


€1B PPP investment to provide better commuting option for 40 000 people

Speaker: Tom Georg Indrevik (coming Mayor of Øygarden Municipality)

The idea about Saaremaa bridge is not new and only a few reference projects have been introduced to understand the socio-economic hemisphere behind the story. We found one. It’s called Sotra bridge and it’s in Norway. The Norwegians are presently upgrading the bridge into Sotra connection. €1B PPP investment will provide a better commuting option for 40 000 people living on the islands of Fjell, Sund and Øygarden Municipalities. Why do they do that? What’s the projection for socio-economic impacts? We’ll have the Vice Mayor of Fjell Municipality and the coming Mayor of Øygarden Municipality (from January 2020), Tom Georg Indrevik, to tell us more about it.


Panel Discussion: How can we build the bridge to Saaremaa?

Kristjan Lepik, Moderator
Martin Lengi, Director of Strategic Planning at Estonian Road Administration
Margus Kohava, Former Board Member at Estonian Cell and Est-For Invest
Kristjan Tamla, CEO at Swedbank Investment Funds
Vilius Girkontas, Senior Manager at Nordic Investment Bank

Moderator: Kristjan Lepik

The discussion of building a bridge to Saaremaa started already in 1996. 23 years later we are in a similar position. Large infrastructure projects acquire time, thorough assessment of environmental and socioeconomical impacts and a neat communication strategy for engaging all relevant stakeholders.
We’ll have experts with diverse experience, who help to explain the potential development of planning and building the bridge considering all the practical hurdles that are likely to emerge.


Coffee Break


Introduction of the Nordic Energy Report

Speaker: Arto Räty, Senior Vice President at Fortum

Arto Räty is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Fortum, a leading Nordic clean energy company. Räty will introduce the results of Nordic Energy Report that explores concrete ways to create the world’s smartest energy system and to find the most energy and cost-efficient solutions in moving towards a low-carbon economy. The report is a follow-up to Jorma Ollila’s “Nordic Energy Co-operation: Strong today – stronger tomorrow” report on Nordic Energy Cooperation, which was commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The report highlights the valuable perspectives of energy producers and energy users. The participating companies included Danfoss, Fortum, Gasum, Stora Enso, SSAB, Statkraft, Virta and Wärtsilä.


What needs to be done by 2050 in order to make Estonia climate neutral?

Speaker: Lauri Tammiste, Centre Director at SEI Tallinn

President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen inquired the member states to report if the states could raise their ambition in terms of climate policy and establish climate neutrality by 2050. Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland considered this goal as too ambitious. Estonia did not give a firm answer, but the government of Estonia instead decided to form a climate commission, that has a goal to find out – how could Estonia establish climate neutrality by 2050. The research report was ordered from Stockholm Environmental Institute Tallinn (SEIT). The report unveils the amount of investments needed, the potential energy balance of Estonia in 2050 and many other matters. Lauri Tammiste, Centre Director of SEIT will share the findings of the report with us.


Panel Discussion: What change should happen to make Estonia climate neutral?

Annika Arras, CEO at Miltton New Nordics
Triin Uustalu, CMO at Veriff
Lauri Tammiste, Centre Director at SEI Tallinn

Moderator: Kristjan Lepik

After Lauri has introduced the vision and theoretical framework what needs to be done, we will discuss – what kind of change should actually happen to transform this ambitious longterm vision into tangible aim. Lauri will share his thoughts from environmental perspective. However, as we know, environmental policy is tightly engaged with all other policies – no societal change can happen without the support of the politicians and no politician can govern without the support of the electorate. We’ll have the CEO of Miltton New Nordics Annika Arras to unveil this perspective. Last but definitely not the least, it would be hard to establish climate goals without the support, contribution and effort of private sector companies to transform their business to climate neutral grounds. Fifty Estonian companies recently signed Tech Green Pledge and gave an oath to become climate neutral by 2030. We’ll have one of the facilitators of Tech Green Pledge, the CMO of Veriff Triin Uustalu, to share the perspective of private companies.


Towards A Space Transportation Infrastructure

Speaker: Andy Grey, Consultant at UK Launch Services Limited 

In recent years we have seen commercial actors take the place of governments in launching satellites, transporting cargo to the international space station, and soon in carrying humans into space. Commercial launch services with the potential for delivering affordable access to space are appearing globally with the need for economically, geographically and politically attractive launch locations. Governments are beginning to adopt new legislation to enable such commercial spaceflight to operate out of their territories. This talk will explore the developments taking us towards a global commercial space transportation infrastructure for satellite launch, manned spaceflight and space tourism.


Wrap-up by the Host

Host: Kristjan Lepik


Snacks & Põhjala Tap Room


Nordic Hotel Forum


Nordic Hotel Forum is a modern four-star superior business and conference hotel in the very heart of Tallinn, at the a prominent location on the edge of the picturesque Tallinn Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nordic Hotel Forum has a variety of spacious and elegantly furnished rooms that will meet the expectations of even the most discerning guest. All rooms have all the necessities for a comfortable stay.

Nordic Hotel Forum is located right at the city centre and is well connected to all parts of Tallinn.

Rooms can be booked here.

L'Ermitage Hotel

The 4-star L’Ermitage Hotel’s interior design is inspired by timeless elegance of the North, mixed with the hottest contemporary design trends. In addition to comfortable and quiet guest rooms, the hotel also features two restaurants – L’Ermitage and Katze – an all-new contemporary conference hall, and a private sauna with a Jacuzzi. The old Town and Town Hall Square are approximately a ten-minute walk away. Tallinn’s most creatively and quickly developing Kalamaja (Fish House) sub district is a fifteen minute walk away, inviting visitors to the Seaplane Harbor (Lennusadam), Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel), Telliskivi Creative City (Telliskivi loomelinnak), numerous cafes, restaurants, and small markets.

The hotel is well connected via public transport to all parts of Tallinn.

Rooms can be booked here.


#INFRA2019 Summit