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Fennovoima / Company Behind Hanhikivi-1 Nuclear Project Appoints New CEO

By David Dalton
6 March 2020

Commercial operation has been delayed four years to 2028
Company Behind Hanhikivi-1 Nuclear Project Appoints New CEO
A computer-generated image of the Hanhikivi-1 nuclear power plant in Finland. Photo courtesy Fennovoima.
Fennovoima has appointed Joachim Specht as the company's new chief executive officer. The company, which is building the Russia-supplied Hanhikiv-1 nuclear unit in Finland said he will take up his post on 1 June.

Mr Specht comes from Fennovoima PreussenElektra, formerly E.ON Kernkraft, where he served as executive vice-president and head of nuclear engineering and consulting. He has also held positions at Areva, Framatome and Siemens/KWU.

Fennovoima announced in October that chief executive officer Toni Hemminki was leaving the company.

Mr Hemminki said earlier last year that the progress of Hanhikivi-1 was a disappointment in 2018 with a new estimated schedule postponing commercial operation by several years.

The new schedule was received from the plant supplier Raos Project, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, at the end of 2018.

It said the plant’s projected startup date had been pushed back to 2028, four years behind the original schedule and eight years later than the proposed start when Finland’s government approved the project in 2010.

At the time, Fennovoima said it had begun revamping its organisation to prepare for swifter progress.

Fennovoima, a consortium of Finnish industrial and energy companies, had warned in 2017 of potential delays, in part due to Rosatom’s problems with securing approval to begin construction from Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.

Fennovoima said the aim now is to receive the construction licence and to start construction in 2021.

Hanhkivi-1 will be a 1,200-MW VVER pressurised water reactor. The reference plant for the unit Leningrad 2 in Sosnovy Bor, Russia.

According to Fennovoima’s website, the total investment cost for Hanhikivi-1 will be between €6.5 and €7bn, which includes initial plant costs, financing and waste management. This estimate has remained the same since spring 2014, when the original investment decision was made, Fennovoima said.

Last month Fennovoima said Japan Steel Works had started forging of the generator rotor for Hanhikivi-1.

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