Initially, the State Peat Industry planned to build a power plant that was only of local importance, i.e. to generate electricity to operate the peat presses operating in the Ellamaa and Sooniste bogs. Since the demand for electricity had grown rapidly in the post-war years, it was decided in 1922 to completely redesign the power plant that was already under construction. A small wooden power station was quickly replaced by a magnificent stone building.

Construction proceeded relatively quickly. The foundations were laid in the summer of 1922, and the station was already producing electricity in the spring of the following year. Based on the design of architect Wladovsky, the main building of the power station was built of limestone and red bricks. The roof structure of the engine room was comprised of slender steel components that were riveted together to create frames with large spans, and these were connected to each other with tie rods. Thereby, a large hall without columns or partitions was created for the portable engines, generators, switchboard and other equipment. Next to the engine hall, the distribution block with large external doors and an eye-catching pediment was built. This block was blown up during the World War II, but was restored in a form quite similar to the original by the early 1960s.

In 1929, a large boiler house was built. Like the original building, it was built of limestone blocks. However, more modern reinforced concrete was used for the floor slabs, columns and roof structure. Fewer red bricks were used for the boiler house.

In the 1930s, as well as after the World War II, several additions were made to the main building of the power station. Next to the boiler house, the largest addition of the 1930s was the two-story peat moss factory built of concrete blocks, which has not survived. Several additions were built of wood, and therefore, less durable. Over time, these have been destroyed or demolished, either due to accidents, changes in the production process or the wartime explosion. Some of the additions were not demolished until the current century.


The construction of Ellamaa power station is nearing completion, 1923. MOMU Motorsports Museum

Boiler house construction workers. Photo, probably 1929. Turba Library

The boiler house (scaffolded, on the right) was built on the site of the former peat gasification unit in 1929. National Archives of Estonia