Fennovoima, which had been considering both Toshiba’s 1600 MW EU-ABWR and AREVA’s 1700 MW EPR reactor designs for the plant said, 25 February, that it had decided to "terminate the on-going bidding process."

Instead, the company has immediately entered into direct negotiations with Toshiba and says that it will start assessing the feasibility of a mid-sized reactor (1000-1300 MW) for the project. Fennovima listed "mid-sized reactors from Toshiba as well as from Areva and Rosatom" as potentially suitable alternatives.

"Toshiba is able to respond to Fennovoima’s needs, and can offer both 1300MW and 1600MW class EU-ABWR based on our long-term experience and know-how," said Toshiba vice president, Kiyoshi Okamura.

Work, to be completed by end March 2013, will include a preliminary assessment of different alternatives in respect of technical feasibility, licensability, economic and financial feasibility as well as project schedule. After the survey phase is completed bids can be requested for the plant alternatives that are evaluated as suitable, Fennovioma said.

The news comes as a direct result of the withdrawal of German utility E.ON (34% stakeholder) from the project, early this month.

Fennovoima said that it would assess smaller reactor options due to "changes in Fennovoima’s ownership structure." "The current owners’ need for Fennovoima’s electricity has not changed and the owners want to ensure the realization of the project," it added.

Fennovoima remains committed to selecting a plant supplier in 2013.