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Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear unit tests slipping behind schedule: TVO

Highlights

New final phase schedule due in December

Too early to say if first power tests delayed

Output schedule 'available ahead of commercial op'

London — Areva-Siemens is to provide a new schedule in December for the final phases of the 1.6-GW Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor after slippage in its commissioning tests, owner operator TVO confirmed Thursday.

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This could potentially push back first delivery of power in tests currently scheduled from May 2019, "but we won't know this until December," TVO spokesman Pasi Tuohimaa told S&P Global Platts.

Previously TVO has said test production over a roughly five-month period could account for 10%-15% of Finland's annual electricity needs ahead of full commercial operation, or 2-4 TWh.

Such is the potential volume at risk that TVO is to put up a schedule of Olkiluoto-3's production tests six months before commercial operation, Tuohimaa said. He stressed that at this stage it was impossible to assess accurately how much electricity would be produced during testing.

"The completion of the commissioning tests has not been progressing according to the updated schedule for commissioning by the plant supplier Areva-Siemens Consortium," TVO said in a statement late Wednesday.

The operator could not say whether "rebaselining" of the final phase schedule would affect the current September target for the start of commercial operation at the plant, which is already almost 10 years behind the original schedule and three times over the original Eur3.2 billion budget.

Neither could TVO say whether test production of electricity at varying power levels from May 2019 would be affected by the re-scheduling.

In June 2017, TVO said Olkiluoto-3 would begin commercial operation in September 2019, rather than in May of that year as expected. Hot testing had taken longer than expected, it said.

Q2 2019 Nordic baseload power on the NASDAQ futures exchange traded Thursday 0900 GMT at Eur36.40/MWh, down 30 euro cent from two trades earlier in the European morning.

--Elaine Hiruo, elaine.hiruo@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com