Fennovoima could sign a contract for the Hanhikivi nuclear power plant in Finland by the end of this year, perhaps with Russian equity of 34%.
Project developer Fennovoima announced today that "from now on" it would "concentrate on negotiating only with Rusatom Overseas" - the subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom state nuclear corporation concerned with exports of nuclear power plants. Areva and Toshiba designs had also been under consideration at earlier stages of the bidding process, with Toshiba invited to direct negotiations in February this year.
Nevertheless, Fennovoima and Rusatom Overseas today announced they have agreed to develop the new plant project to the point that a contract to build could be signed. Given that Fennovoima holds a decision-in-principle from the government to go ahead with new nuclear, construction could start in 2014 leading to operation from 2020. Fennovoima's structure includes 60 regional power users and suppliers as shareholders and these would all have to decide on their continued participation before a contract could be complete.
On offer is a single-unit nuclear power plant using a Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER pressurized water reactor. It would produce 1200 MWe near the municipality of Pyhajoki on Finland's west coast.
Separately, negotiations are under way for Rusatom Overseas to take a 34% stake in Fennovoima, filling a gap left by the German utility EOn which pulled out in October 2012 due to balance sheet pressures resulting from domestic decisions to abandon nuclear energy.
Hanhikivi would be sixth nuclear reactor generating power in Finland and, along with Olkiluoto 3, could take nuclear to a share of power generation of around 50% in 2020. With renewables slated to reach 20% of electricity at the same time, Finland's high-demand industrial economy would also be one of the cleanest in terms of specific carbon dioxide emissions.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News