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Fortum inks nuclear, wind power deals with UK firms

Finland's biggest power company unveiled agreements with British firms Rolls-Royce and Impax Asset Management on Thursday.

Lähikuva tyylimyllyn siivistä.
Lapland is a challenging place for wind turbines. Image: Jarmo Honkanen / Yle

Finland’s largest energy utility, Fortum, has signed an agreement with the Russian state firm Rosatom and Britain’s Rolls-Royce to develop nuclear power technology. The companies are to study the applicability of Rosatom’s pressurized water reactor in Britain. Fortum has not made any investment decisions related to the partnership.

Matti Ruotsala, head of Fortum’s Power Division, says that the deal is part of Fortum’s efforts to commercialise its nuclear power know-how. The majority state-owned utility’s expertise in nuclear waste management is now being used as part of the effort to clean water polluted by Japan’s Fukushima disaster, for instance.

The new deal is an extension of a letter of intent signed by Fortum and Rosatom in 2010.

It comes two days after the Fennovoima consortium said it aimed to sign a deal with Rosatom to build Finland’s third nuclear power plant on the northern west coast. Fortum owns the Loviisa nuclear power station on Finland’s south-east coast, which was built with a combination of Soviet and American technology in the late 1970s.

Lapland wind joins European renewable portfolio

In another deal announced on Thursday, Fortum said that it and the forest management agency Metsähallitus are selling a wind power project to an English investment fund. The Kuolavaara-Keulakkopää site, located in the Lapland municipalities of Kittilä and Sodankylä, is to feature a 17-turbine wind park with a capacity of 50 megawatts. Joukhaisselkä, in Sodankylä, is to house a wind farm with half that capacity.

The sale of the wind farms is to be completed in the first half of next year. The sale price was not disclosed. The buyer is Impax Asset Management’s New Energy II Fund. It has 330 million euros to spend on renewable energy projects. The fund already owns 200 megawatts worth of wind power capacity in France, Germany and Poland as well as solar energy ventures in Italy. Investors in the fund include the European Investment Bank and Finland’s State Pension Fund.

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