Finnish firms commit to Fennovoima

28 February 2014

Finnish companies have committed to hold just over half of the ownership of Fennovoima, the company proposing to build the Hanhikivi nuclear power plant in Finland.

In 2006, a group of Finnish industrial and energy companies interested in participating in a new power plant project founded Voimaosakeyhtiö SF as the main shareholder in Fennovoima. Within a couple of years, over 60 companies had joined and Germany's EOn had taken a 34% stake in the project. However, in October 2012 EOn withdraw from Fennovoima, with Voimaosakeyhtiö buying its share to take full control. Then, last November, 45 of the Finnish companies with shareholdings in Voimaosakeyhtiö confirmed that they wanted to continue with their involvement in the project.

Voimaosakeyhtiö has now announced that 44 of its shareholders had confirmed they will take a combined 50.2% stake in the company. Earlier this month,mining company Talvivaara said that while it continues to support the Fennovoima project, it is not in a position to commit to it financially.

Hanhikivi 1 AES-2006 (Fennovoima)_460
Fennovoima's vision of an AES-2006 VVER plant at Hanhikivi (Image: Fennovoima)

However, Voimaosakeyhtiö said that it aims to increase the share held by Finnish firms up to around 66%. The company said that it is in negotiations with potential new owners and that these will be finalized by the end of June. At that time, the final ownership shares of the current owners would be specified.

In December 2013, Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom agreed to take a 34% stake in Fennovoima. However, earlier this week, Rosatom head Sergey Kiriyenko said that the company was prepared to increase its stake up to as much as 49%.

Fennovoima signed the plant supply contract for Hanhikivi with Rusatom Overseas - Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom's subsidiary concerned with exports of nuclear power plants. Rosatom has offered to build a plant using a Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER that would produce 1200 MWe.

Fennovoima said that the complete power plant investment will be confirmed in mid-March. A final decision by the Finnish companies on whether or not to commit to the project is a precursor to the signature of any contracts with reactor supplier Rosatom.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News