Finland’s Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said on 17 May that it had reached a consensus with the Areva−Siemens consortium regarding the terms of project completion or the EPR under construction at unit 3 of the Olkiluoto NPP (OL3). Electricity production at the unit is to start in October 2021, when the plant is connected to the national grid and regular electricity production is to start in February 2022.
TVO and the EPR plant supplier consortium companies Areva NP, Areva GmbH, and Siemens AG as well as the Areva Group parent company Areva SA have been in negotiation since summer 2020 on the terms of the OL3 EPR project completion. In addition, the Areva companies have been preparing a financial solution which would ensure the necessary funding for the companies to complete the OL3 EPR project. The parties have now reached a consensus regarding the main principles of the OL3 EPR project completion and the key matters are:
- The Areva companies' trust mechanism, established in the Global Settlement Agreement (GSA) of 2018, is to be replenished with approximately €600 million as of the beginning of January 2021.
- Both parties are to cover their own costs as of July 2021 until end of February 2022.
- In the case that the plant supplier consortium companies would not complete the OL3 EPR project until the end of February 2022, they would pay an additional compensation for delays, depending on the date of completion.
A final agreement is to be signed by the end of May 2021, after which certain conditions have to be fulfilled for the agreement to enter into force. The OL3 EPR plant unit's fuel was loaded into the reactor in March 2021.
“We have now reached a consensus with the plant supplier consortium regarding the main principles of the project's completion, which create the prerequisites for starting regular electricity production in February 2022,” said TVO President and CEO Jarmo Tanhua. “The nuclear commissioning phase of a new nuclear power plant unit is an important and extremely interesting period. We are now determinedly advancing towards connecting the plant unit to the grid in October 2021, when the plant unit is to produce electricity to the national grid for the first time. We have the opportunity to produce approximately 15% of Finland's electricity at the OL3 EPR plant unit, and we consider this to be Finland's greatest single act for the climate.”
The project, which began in 2005, is some 10 years behind schedule and significantly over budget. The cost of Olkiluoto-3 was initially put at €3.2bn, but in 2012 Areva estimated the overall cost at to €8.5bn.
Image: The Olkiluoto 3 EPR (Photo credit: TVO)