District heat production from the proposed Loviisa 3 nuclear power plant would be more cost effective than from biomass or coal a, a study carried out by consultants Pöyry on behalf of Fortum shows.

The Pöyry study compared three alternative scenarios for producing district heat for the Helsinki metropolitan area: a carbon scenario based on the current production structure, a biomass-based bio-scenario and a nuclear district heat scenario.

In the nuclear district heat scenario, the analysis approach chosen was that the Loviisa 3 nuclear power plant unit is realised using the Mankala principle, i.e. as a company that sells the electricity and heat it produces to its shareholders at cost. District heat is transferred to the Helsinki metropolitan area via a 100-kilometre-long transfer pipeline, and the heat is distributed to the Helsinki metropolitan area’s district heat network at several different connection points. Construction of the pipeline network will take about five years and is timed for 2014–2019.

The study indicates that the nuclear district heat option would provide the biggest decrease in carbon dioxide emissions. In the nuclear district heat scenario, the Helsinki metropolitan area’s post-2020 carbon dioxide emissions from energy production would be about 60–75% less than in 1990, and other emissions in the Helsinki metropolitan area would also decrease significantly. If the nuclear district heat option is realised, Finland’s carbon dioxide emissions would decrease by about 4.0–4.5 million tonnes per year, i.e. by about 6-7%.

The study found the nuclear district heat scenario to be also the most financially lucrative option. In the bio-scenario, heat production costs, including the needed infrastructure investments, decrease by 7EUR/MWh and in the nuclear district heat scenario by 18–26EUR/MWh, compared to the coal scenario.

“By utilising the district heat produced by Loviisa 3, Finland could reduce 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year and cover a large part of its emissions reduction obligations without public financing,” says Tapio Kuula, president and CEO, Fortum Corporation.

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