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TVO, minister satisfied with settlement in long-term nuclear reactor dispute

A settlement has been reached in a drawn-out contract dispute that caused a ten-year delay in the installation of a nuclear reactor in western Finland.

Olkiluoto 3 ydinvoimala
Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has decided: The French supplier Areva and its consortium partners are required to pay the Finnish nuclear power company TVO 450 million euros in two instalments for delays in what was contractually a turn-key project. TVO will then pay Areva and Siemens 150 million euros in incentive money to finish construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear unit, located in Eurajoki, Finland.

A statement from TVO says that the agreement also provides that if the supplier consortium companies fail to complete the Olkiluoto 3 project by the end of 2019, they will be obliged to pay a penalty of up to 400 million euros.

"The agreement ensures that the OL3 EPR project continues to have the necessary financial, technical and human resources for the completion and successful start-up of the plant," TVO's President and CEO Jarmo Tanhua says.

Tanhua describes the arbitration agreement as satisfactory.

Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä, is also pleased.

"It is a substantial sum, even if it doesn't correspond to the number that TVO was originally seeking. But in this situation, it is a relatively good agreement," the minister told Yle.

328 million now, 122 later

TVO had originally requested 2.6 billion euros in damages for the supplier delays at the Olkiluoto 3 site. In an early claim, Siemens and Areva joined together to demand 3.5 billion euros in delayed payments and alleged loss of profit.

Under the terms of the arbitration agreement, the disputing parties must now withdraw from ongoing legal proceedings. This includes the claims in dispute at the ICC.

TVO says that the agreement should enter into force in March, after a few conditions have first been met. The Finnish power company will expect the first instalment of 328 million euros to be paid upon the agreement's entry into force. The second instalment of 122 million euros will be paid upon the reactor unit's completion – at the latest by the end of 2019.

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