Contractors Unlimited

Bids in for new Finnish Plant

Fennovoima has received commercial bids from Areva and Toshiba for the construction of its planned nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki on the western coast of Finland. A final decision on the plant supplier will be made by the end of next year.

Fennovoima selected Areva and Toshiba as its preferred suppliers in 2008 and signed technical development agreements with both vendors in December 2010 to ensure that Areva's EPR - an advanced pressurized water reactor rated about 1700 MWe - and Toshiba's ABWR - an advanced boiling water reactor rated about 1600 MWe - would meet Finnish safety requirements and the company's own technical requirements. In July 2011, Fennovoima invited both companies to submit bids for the engineering, supply and construction of reactor and turbine islands for the planned plant. Infrastructure works early in the construction phase and other preparatory works were excluded from the bids. Both Areva and Toshiba submitted technical bids in early January and have now submitted their commercial bids for the project.

In its bid, Toshiba has offered to supply both the reactor and turbine islands, while Areva has proposed that the turbine island be supplied by either Alstom or Siemens.

Fennovoima said that it will be responsible itself for work not included in the scope of the bids, such as preparatory earthworks, excavation and off-shore construction that will be carried out before the actual construction of the plant begins. In addition, Fennovoima will be responsible for building offices and a visitor centre, as well as accommodation for construction workers. One of the first projects will be the construction of a road to the site. Preparatory site work could begin in late 2012.

A final decision on the plant supplier will be made this year or next. At the same time, Fennovoima will make a decision on the exact scope of the contract. "The schedule for the project as a whole will be defined during the negotiations and in the plant contract," the company said.

Fennovoima selected Pyhäjoki as the location of its plant in October 2011. The nuclear power plant will be built on the Hanhikivi peninsula on the coast of Bothnian Bay. It will be the world's third most northerly nuclear power plant, after Russia's Bilibina and Kola plants.

A decision-in-principle for the plant was granted to Fennovoima in May 2010 and ratified by parliament in July 2010. Operation is pencilled in to begin around 2020. Also in May 2010, TVO was granted a decision-in-principle to build a fourth plant at the Olkiluoto site. Four reactors already provide some 30% of Finland's electricity and the country's fifth reactor, the first-of-a-kind Olkiuoto 3 EPR, is expected to enter commercial operation in 2013. The government rejected an application from Fortum for a decision-in-principle to build a third unit at Loviisa.

Fennovoima is a project company primarily owned by industrial power consumers and resellers, in line with the 'Finnish model' for financing nuclear power plant projects. While EOn has a major stake of 34%, the rest is held by Voimaosakeyhtiö SF which counts 69 organisations as its shareholders.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Published 06/02/2012

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