Croatian firm confirms interest in Finnish project

02 July 2015

Croatian company Migrit Energija has confirmed that it plans to take a stake in the Hanhikivi nuclear power plant project in Finland. However, the Finnish economy ministry has requested more details about the company as it considers the shareholding.

Fennovoima submitted its construction licence application to Finland's Ministry of Employment and the Economy on 30 June for the planned Hanhikivi project. At the same time, the company presented a new ownership statement to the ministry indicating that Migrit Energija subsidiary Migrit Solarna Energija had agreed to take a 9% stake in Voimaosakeyhtiö SF, Fennovoima's principal shareholder.

In a statement yesterday, Migrit Energija said it is "in the process of receiving approval from the Finnish authorities to participate in the construction of the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant in Finland".

The company said the value of its investment in the project will be just over €158.5 million ($175.6 million). This, it said, would be "financed in cooperation with credit institutions".

Migrit Energija described the Hanhikivi project as "an innovative nuclear power plant that is of utmost importance on the European energy map, which puts our company, and thus the Republic of Croatia in the position as one of the major participants in the European energy market."

It added, "Certainly we need to stress the support we have received from Croatia's ministry of economy in the ongoing process, which we hope will continue in the future as well, to the mutual satisfaction and interest."

However, Finnish newspaper YLE reported that it had been told by Croatian government sources that the government has no information about Migrit Energy.

According to a Reuters report, Zagreb-based Migrit Energija was founded by Russian owners in 2012, with Mikhail Zhukov named as its director. Grigory Edel and Maxin Soloshchanskiy are listed as managers.

Yesterday Finnish minister of economic affairs Olli Rehn sent a letter to Fennovoima requesting further details about the Croatian company.

The minister has asked Fennovoima for three years of accounts from both Migrit Energija and Migrit Solarna Energija, details about the ownership of both companies and their financing arrangements. He also requested information about the companies' expertise and experience in the energy and nuclear sectors. Rehn additionally requested information about Edel, Soloshchanskiy and Oksana Dvinskykh, including their interests in any other companies.

The ministry has given Fennovoima until 6 July to provide the requested information.

In a statement the ministry said it will "spend the necessary amount of time reviewing [Fennovoima's] ownership; as long as a thorough investigation requires. It has been estimated to take a few weeks."

Fennovoima aims to complete infrastructure work at the Hanhikivi site in Pyhäjoki in northern Finland by the end of 2017. Construction of the plant - based on a Russian-designed AES-2006 VVER that would produce 1200 MWe - can only start once the construction licence has been issued. Fennovoima said it aims to start building the plant in 2018, with operation beginning in 2024.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News