Hanhikivi construction licence application submitted

30 June 2015

Fennovoima has today submitted its construction licence application to the Finland's Ministry of Employment and the Economy for the planned Hanhikivi nuclear power plant project. However, issues remain regarding the level of Finnish ownership in the project.

Hanhikivi 1 AES-2006 (Fennovoima)_460
How an AES-2006 plant could appear at Hanhikivi (Image: Fennovoima)

The company submitted its 250-page application today, the deadline set by the government in its 2010 decision-in-principle approving the project.

The application sets out details of the plant location, the reactor type, the main safety systems, nuclear waste management, financing of the project and Fennovoima's organization, the company said.

The ministry said that it expects to take at least two years to process the application.

A requirement set by the government in its decision-in-principle is that the project must be at least 60% owned by Finnish companies.

Fennovoima announced today that it had also submitted to the government a new ownership statement. The company noted, "Since last autumn, Voimaosakeyhtiö SF [Fennovoima's principal shareholder] has received a number of new owners. The largest of them is Croatia's Migrit Solarna Energija." It said the Croatian company had taken a 9% stake in Voimaosakeyhtiö SF.

Fennovoima pointed out that a least 60% of the company is now owned by parties domiciled in the European Union or a member of the European Free Trade Association. RAOS Voima Oy, a Finnish subsidiary set up in 2013 by Russia's Rosatom specifically to hold a stake in the company, holds 34% of Fennovoima.

Minister of economic affairs Olli Rehn said, "The ownership base announced by Fennovoima is new information for the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. We need time to look into the matter and verify that the condition of 60% ownership is truly met. If that is the case, it would mean that the share of domestic ownership in the project would be on the required level of overall good to society determined by our last government and parliament."

Rehn said, "If the Ministry of Employment and the Economy states after the review that the ownership condition is not met, it will submit a proposal for the rejection of the construction licence application to the government without any further processing of the application."

Fennovoima CEO Toni Hemminki responded, "We respect the minister's requests for clarification and will submit them to the ministry. The new shareholder was obtained according to a tight schedule and we understand, especially in the case of a large owner, the ministry's need for careful studies."

However, he added, "We are confident that we will be able to provide them with the necessary clarifications."

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