TVO welcomes partial award in Olkiluoto EPR arbitration

10 November 2016

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said it has been awarded a final and binding partial award in the ongoing arbitration proceedings related to delays in the construction of the first-of-a-kind EPR unit at Olkiluoto.

Olkiluoto 3 - September 2016 - 460 (TVO)
The EPR at Olkiluoto, pictured in September (Image: TVO)

The Areva-Siemens consortium began construction of Olkiluoto 3 in 2005 under a turnkey contract signed with TVO in late 2003. Completion of the 1600 MWe reactor was originally scheduled for 2009, but the first project has suffered various delays and setbacks.

The ongoing arbitration proceedings through the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) were initiated by the supplier consortium in December 2008. In 2012, TVO made a claim against the Areva-Siemens consortium under the arbitration proceedings. Both parties have since made a number of revisions to their respective claims. TVO maintains that as Olkiluoto 3 is being built under a fixed-price turnkey contract, the supplier consortium companies are "jointly and severally liable for the plant contract obligations". However, Areva-Siemens claims that TVO has itself caused some delays in the plant's construction.

TVO announced today that it had received a final and binding partial award in which the ICC has "addressed the early period of the project", including the timescale, licensing and licensability, and system design.

"This comprises many of the facts and matters that TVO relies upon in its main claims against the supplier, as well as certain key matters that the supplier relies upon in its claim against TVO," the company said. "In doing so, the partial award has finally resolved the great majority of these facts and matters in favour of TVO, and conversely has rejected the great majority of the supplier's contentions in this regards."

However, TVO noted the partial award "does not take a position" on the amount of compensation being claimed. It said the ICC is expected to grant further partial awards before a final award is made which will set out the liabilities of the parties to pay compensation.

"TVO considers its claim to be well-founded and has considered and found the claims of the supplier to be without merit," the company said. "The partial award provides material confirmation for this position."

According to the latest schedule provided by the Areva-Siemens consortium in September 2014, regular electricity production in the unit will commence at the end of 2018.

In late September, TVO was reported to have filed a case in the Nanterre Commercial Court in France against Areva in order to avoid further delays to Olkiluoto 3. TVO was said to be seeking assurances that a restructuring of Areva - including the sale of its reactor business to EDF - would not impact the unit's expected start-up date.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News