Finnish TVO files appeal on French state aid to Areva
- French restructuring and recapitalization plan does not provide sufficient guarantees for Olkiluoto 3 nuclear project

Finnish utility ‚ÄčTeollisuuden Voima (TVO) filed an appeal to the general court of the European Union on French State aid to the French Areva Group, the utility said on Wednesday.

The Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power project in southwest Finland was due to start up in 2009 but because of a dispute between TVO and the reactor supplier, the Areva-Siemens consortium, major delays occurred. Both companies are claiming billions of euros from each other due to delays and cost overruns.

TVO said that it is an existing customer of the Areva group and is reliant on it to complete the construction of the Olkiluoto 3.

The utility said it is not opposed in principle to the intervention by the French State in favor of the Areva Group, provided that TVO’s needs for the plant are fully taken into account, which is currently not the case.

"TVO’s appeal therefore argues, among other things, that the French restructuring and recapitalization plan in its current form does not provide sufficient guarantees to TVO that the necessary financial, technical and human resources are to be made available for the project," TVO spokesperson said, and added that it also considers that the plan does not ensure that Areva is able to meet all current and future liabilities during the last phases of project completion and until the end of the guarantee period.

The utility noted that its core objective is for the timely completion of the project within the current project schedule of the plant supplier, and in accordance with the contractual obligations of the Areva-Siemens consortium.

TVO received a final and binding partial award in the ongoing International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration proceeding with Areva, related to the delay and the ensuing costs incurred at the project at the end of July.

The utility said the partial award addressed preparation, review, submittal and approval of design and licensing documents on the project.

The arbitration proceeding is still ongoing with at least one further partial award to come, before the final award where the tribunal will declare the liabilities of the parties to pay compensation.

Nuclear power has traditionally been seen as a cheap and efficient way of producing energy in Finland and has met a quarter of the country's energy needs.

The Olkiluoto 3 project has seen major delays in its implementation, but it is currently planned to start electricity production in 2018, nine years later than originally planned.

By Murat Temizer

Anadolu Agency

13 Sep,2017