Fennovoima, the company behind the project worth up to 7bn euros, is bullish. The 1,200 megawatt power plant – known as Hanhikivi 1 and due to be completed by 2024 – could provide Finland with about 10 per cent of its electricity, boost the country’s economic growth, and be a boon for a group of local companies as well as Russia’s Rosatom. Fennovoima thinks it can avoid the proble ms that have dogged the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear project in Finland and Hinkley Point in the UK. Unlike the former, Rosatom is not just a supplier but also a big shareholder, with a 34 per cent stake in Fennovoima. And the cost of the proposed new Finnish reactor is well below the £18bn (24bn euros) estimate for Hinkley Point, even if the UK plant is bigger, at 3,200MW. When Finland announced plans in 2002 to build a nuclear power station it sparked excitement in industry circles because it would be the first such plant to be built in western Europe for more than a decade. The Olkiluoto 3 reactor was due to open in 2010 at a cost of about 3 bn euros. It is now set to go online in 2018 at a cost of about 8.5bn euros if a long list of delays and cost overruns is not added to. Olkiluoto’s supplier, a consortium of France’s Areva and Germany’s Siemens, is suing the operator, Finland’s TVO, for 3.5bn euros in an arbitration action, alleging much of the delay is the Finnish company’s fault. TVO is countersuing for 2.6bn euros, claiming that Areva and Siemens should bear the bulk of the unforeseen costs. The bad blood is causing a delay to plans by EDF, the French utility that is planning to build a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in the UK, to buy Areva’s reactor business. Talks between Areva and TVO to find a solution that would allow EDF to proceed broke down last month.
FT 5th June 2016 read more »