E.On announced, 24 October, that it would sell its 34% stake in Fennovoima, which plans to build the Hanhikivi nuclear power plant in Northern Finland. The utility will also sell its other business assets in Finland, and instead focus on investing in Sweden.

“Following a strategic review, E.On Nordic has decided to further strengthen its focus on existing operations in the Nordic countries and has initiated the process of divesting its businesses and assets in Finland including the Fennovoima project,” E.On said in a statement.

Fennovioma, founded in 2007, is a Mankala company, a form of cooperative producing electricity for its owners’ needs at production cost in proportion to their ownership share. E.On owns 34% of the company, with Voimaosakeyhtiö SF and its 67 shareholders owning the remaining 66%.

Voimaosakeyhtiö said that it has initiated discussions on the future ownership of Fennovoima and that E.On remains committed to financing the company until the spring of 2013. Fennovioma is currently conducting site characterization studies; soil sampling will continue for the rest of 2012, studies for a new road will be started in October, and bedrock studies will start in November, it said.

E.On’s decision to withdraw for the Fennovoima project follows its decision to drop nuclear new build plans in the UK. E.On and fellow German utility RWE both announced in March 2012 that they would sell their stakes in the Horizon Nuclear Power joint-venture due to ‘financial pressures brought by a combination of the global economic crisis and the accelerated nuclear phase out in Germany which forced utilities to re-evaluate their capital investment plans