Ownership of Croatia's Migrit Energija remains unclear

16 July 2015

Finland's Ministry of Employment and the Economy announced today that it has been unable to confirm whether Migrit Energija, the Croatian company intending to take a stake in the Hanhikivi nuclear power plant project, is in fact European-controlled.

Fennovoima submitted its construction licence application to ministry on 1 July 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. 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.

The purpose of the ownership statement, according to the ministry, is to demonstrate that "factual ownership" of at least 60% of the company is held by parties residing or domiciled in the European Union or a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). This was a requirement set by the government in a supplement to its decision-in-principle for the Hanhikivi project.

Earlier this month, Finnish minister of economic affairs Olli Rehn requested more details from Fennovoima about Migrit Energija. This included three years of accounts from both Migrit Energija and Migrit Solarna Energija, details about the ownership of both companies and their financing arrangements. Fennovoima submitted this information on 6 July.

The ministry also requested information about Zagreb-based Migrit Energija from authorities in both Finland and Croatia. In addition, the ministry commissioned a report on the company by Ernst & Young.

In a statement today the ministry said, "On the basis of studies made in the Ministry of Employment and the Economy as well as information received, it has not been possible to adequately verify that factual control in the company Migrit Solarna Energija is held by parties residing or domiciled in EU or EFTA countries."

The ministry said the matter will now be referred to the economic affairs minister for consideration. "It will be decided next whether the project is still in accordance with the overall good of society," it said.

The ministry said it had consulted with the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and, "in accordance with the interpretation, the process concerning the construction licence application will remain open until the matter is submitted to the government for consideration."

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