The business area of EPV Power includes the generation of hydropower and nuclear power by the companies Pohjolan Voima, Teollisuuden Voima, Voimapiha and Rapid Power.
Nuclear power generation continued in a steady way and the construction work of the new Olkiluoto 3 plant progressed well. However, the future adequacy of electric power still caused concern.
The Olkiluoto 1 and 2 plants generated electricity steadily in 2017, although due to the modernisations in preparation for the renewal of the operating licence, production remained slightly lower than in previous years. The plant supplier of Olkiluoto 3 has confirmed the schedule for the key milestones, and in 2017 the project progressed to the commissioning tests. The progress of nuclear power generation is positive news for the reliability of supply, because Finland’s power shortfall problem grew still worse over the year.
Significant steps taken in the construction of Olkiluoto 3
The plant supplier for the Olkiluoto 3 plant, Areva-Siemens, updated their schedule in October, resulting in an additional delay of five months for the completion of the plant. According to the new schedule, regular power generation will begin in May 2019, while previous estimates expected it to begin at the end of 2018. Grid connection is due to be implemented for the first time in December 2018.
Despite the delay, the construction of Olkiluoto 3 progressed significantly during 2017. In June, the power plant had its first cold tests and the hot test stage was reached in December 2017. After a series of successful hot tests, the power plant has the potential to be granted an operating licence and to proceed towards nuclear use.
Modernisations made at Olkiluoto 2
In 2017, the gross production of TVO’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant was lower than the previous years due to the extensive modernisation work. In connection with its annual service, large alterations and repairs were made at the Olkiluoto 2 plant, which resulted in an increase from 880 MW to 890 MW in the unit’s nominal output.
Concerns over the sufficiency of electric power
Concerns over the sufficiency of electric power in Finland continued to grow in 2017. This concern is further strengthened by an assessment made by ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators, of a 24-hour power shortfall anticipated in Finland in 2020. Should this occur, it would mean regulation and interruptions in electricity supply. The situation in Finland is poor and comparisons with Sweden, for instance, show that the power shortfall that same year in Sweden would be less than one hour.
Concerns over the sufficiency of electric power continued to grow
The reason behind this power shortfall problem is that several CHP plants and condensing power plants have been or are being removed from the market, but have not been replaced by substitute power sources due to the low market price of electricity. In addition, more and more renewable energy, which varies according to the weather, is being generated in Finland and this is quickly increasing the need for adjustable power.
The hydroelectric power development projects continue
EPV Energy holds hydropower shares in Finland through Pohjolan Voima Vesivoima, in Sweden through Voimapiha and in Norway through Rapid Power. Pohjolan Voima Vesivoima is involved in several projects that promote the restoration of migratory fish. The Otva cooperation project for the River Iijoki involves the region’s central operators and experts and its goal is to compile a waterway vision for the River Iijoki, promote the restoration of migratory fish stocks and advance smaller measures that will increase the value of the river. The project also includes building the first smart fishway by the Raasakka power plant and developing the old Raasakka river bed. The planning of the smart fishway was completed in 2017.
Advancing hydropower plants
The automation reform of Pohjolan Voima Vesivoima’s Isohaara power plants 3 and 4 was completed in May 2017. It involved the modernisation of the old automation systems, which allows the power plant to be utilised better than ever for generating balancing power.
Voimapiha has power plant shares in Sweden in the River Indalsälven, one of the most significant rivers in the country for hydroelectric power stations. The Voimapiha power plants have a significant plant modernisation programme under way. The objective of the modernisation of hydroelectric power stations is to gain over 40 years of operating life for the renovated structures. The modernisation typically slightly increases the capacity of the plants and improves their balancing capacity features. In May 2017, the turbine and generator replacements at the Stadforsen hydroelectric power station’s second unit were completed and, almost at the same time, the extensive renovation of the Midskog hydroelectric power station’s third unit was begun.
All in all, the generation of hydropower in 2017 corresponded to long-term average generation volumes. Especially the end of the year was rainier than normal in the Nordic countries. In 2017, the output of EPV Energy’s hydroelectric power plant shares exceeded the historical average in Finland and Sweden and did not lag far behind in Norway either.
The first LNG delivery to Tornio
In November 2017, the LNG import terminal under construction in Tornio received its first shipment of liquid natural gas by sea. The construction work has progressed according to schedule throughout the year and the terminal is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018. The total project investment amounts to approximately MEUR 110. The terminal aims to diversify the gas and fuel markets of the Nordic countries by offering a more ecological and economical alternative for the region’s industry, energy generation and maritime transport.