Finnish energy consortium Fennovoima has begun environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for its proposed 1000–1800MW nuclear plant in Finland, and rented land with a right-to-buy for the development.

The assessments will be carried out at Pyhäjoki, Ruotsinpyhtää, and Simo municipalities.

At Ruotsinpyhtää, the consortium has rented a 2000ha area, of which 600ha is land. The rental contract states that Fennovoima holds the right to purchase the estate later on.

Fennovoima says other EIA locations could be selected by the end of this year, with the assessments being complete by the start of 2009.

After this, Fennovoima will file an application with the government for a decision-in-principle on the plant.

Fennovoima is to establish local offices in Pyhäjoki, Ruotsinpyhtää and Simo by the end of this year. It has selected Pöyry Energy Oy as its EIA consultant.

The consortium – Outokumpu, Boliden, Rauman Energia, Katternö and Eon – aim to have the plant operational between 2016 and 2018.

The consortium agreed to a deal whereby Fennovoima would produce electricity for its owners´ needs at production cost. Each owner gets the share of capacity proportional to its ownership.

One third of the capacity is reserved for Finnish industry, merchandise and services, one third for regional and local energy companies, and one third for Eon Suomi.

Approximately half of the capacity is to be offered to companies other than the existing Fennovoima partners. It has begun discussions with companies requiring long-term procurement of fixed-price power for their own production and customers in Finland.