Press release | 2010-04-29 | 13:30 PM

Energy News Europe - week 16, 2010

Baltic states

Common electricity market to be launched in 2011

Baltic News Service, 2010-04-22
The Baltic electricity transmission companies, Latvia's Augstsprieguma Tikls, Estonia's Elering, and Lithuania's Litgrid, have agreed to launch a common Baltic energy market with three energy price areas. The companies will sell electricity through remote auctions to be able to ensure the best prices for their customers. Transmission companies will also develop a common strategy on exported electricity distribution. The strategy of the common market will be the same as for the Nordic electricity exchange Nord Pool Spot.
© Esmerk

Eesti Energia on Baltic energy market development

Diena, 2010-04-23
The Baltic energy market will be controlled by a single pan-Baltic energy company, which will compete with strong foreign market players, due to enter the Baltic market in three to five years, forecasts the Estonian power utility, Eesti Energia. At the current moment, the Baltic energy companies are competing with each other, which is preparing them for the future to come. Eesti Energia sees that the the company's strongest competitors at the present moment are Finland's Fortum and Latvia's Latvenergo, and for now, the company would be unprepared to compete with such players as E.O.N. or EDF.
© Esmerk


Electra plans 100 MW wind farm

Novinite, 2010-04-21
Spain's Electra is planning to build a wind farm with a capacity of 100 MW in central Bulgaria. The firm has already acquired the necessary 5,000 decares of land. The establishment of the wind farm is expected to take four years, with Electra having announced at the end of 2009 that it will spend EUR 650mn (USD 873.24mn) on developing renewable energy projects in Bulgaria. The company already has wind farms in Bulgaria with a total capacity of 480 MW.
© Esmerk


Areva still believes Olkiluoto 3 will be operating in 2012

Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-04-20
In Finland, the third reactor at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant has not yet been installed, but French Areva, the turn-key supplier of the Olkiluoto 3 plant, still believes that the power plant will be producing electricity in the summer of 2012. Jouni Silvennoinen, who heads the nuclear power project at Finnish power company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) that is building the plant, does not believe that the project can keep to this timetable.

According to Greenpeace energy campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta, the third reactor could be ready in 2014, if there are no more delays. Myllyvirta points out that the completion of the facility does not yet mean that electricity power will be connected. It generally takes a year from competition to electricity being connected to the grid.
© Esmerk

Cabinet proposes permits for two new nuclear power plants

Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-04-22
In Finland, the Cabinet has proposed the granting of building permits for two new nuclear power plants. The licenses would go to power company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) and the Fennovoima consortium. Power company Fortum was not granted a permit. TVO's new power plant would be built in Eurajoki and Fennovoima's in either Simo or Pyhäjoki. Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mauri Pekkarinen says one reason why he changed his view from one permit to two was that the forest industry has said it will continue to invest in Finland also in future.

Fennovoima and TVO were chosen because they will best serve the interests of Finnish business. Finland's Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen says building new nuclear power is necessary because of climate issues, in order to improve electricity self-sufficiency, and in order to ensure the operations of industry. Minister of Labour Anni Sinnemäki (representing the Greens) is disappointed in the decision. The Greens intend to vote against the Cabinet's proposal when it is presented to the Government in a few weeks' time.

In the case of Fennovoima, a separate problem is formed by the issue of storing spent nuclear fuel. Fennovoima will be granted six years to plan for this. Minister Pekkarinen admits that Posiva that is responsible for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Finland cannot be forced to receive waste from Fennovoima.
© Esmerk

TVO and Fennovoima may build nuclear power plants at same time

Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-04-22
In Finland, the decision to grant building permits to two nuclear power plants will most likely lead to a situation where the two plants will be built simultaneously. According to plans, Teollisuuden Voima's (TVO) fourth reactor is to be completed in 2019, and Fennovoima's plant in 2020, at the latest. This may raise building costs.

According to TVO's CEO Jarmo Tanhua, the company will start the wheels turning immediately after Parliament makes a favourable decision-in-principle. The organisation and everything else is ready. Comparison of alternative facilities will continue as will the preparation of tender invitation documents. Fennovoima, although pleased with the decision, will proceed carefully and will wait for the Parliament's final decision. The decision on the location of the nuclear power plant will be made in the beginning of 2011, at the latest. Power company Fortum's CEO Tapio Kuula admits that the company is extremely disappointed that it was not granted a permit.

Fortum will now eye nuclear power opportunities outside Finland and will try to utilise the work that was carried out in preparation of the new Loviisa 3 elsewhere. The company wants to retain its position as a company with nuclear power know-how.
© Esmerk


Government to launch call to tender for 51 hydroelectric dams

Batiactu, 2010-04-22
The French government plans to launch calls to tender for the management of 51 hydroelectric dams (5,300MW combined) between 2010 and 2013. The dams are currently managed by EDF and GDF Suez. By 2015, 20% of the French hydroelectric energy system will be opened to competition. The 51 dams are grouped by valley for ten concessions in all. Between 2013 and 2015, hydroelectric dam management contracts in the Massif central, the Pyrénées and the Alps will also be awarded.
© Esmerk


CER plans electricity market deregulation

Irish Times, 2010-04-22
Ireland's Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) plans to deregulate the domestic electricity sector when ESB has a 60% market share. ESB holds around 77% of the market, with Bord Gais, Airtricity and other independent suppliers accounting for the remainder. ESB will be obliged to adhere to a move that would see its retail operation rebranded prior to deregulation, enabling it to compete with independent players. In the business market, ESB's market share is under 50% and deregulation is planned for 1 October 2010. Since rivals began competing, as many as 500,000 individuals have transferred from ESB.
© Esmerk


Sales of E.On assets is cancelled due to negative conditions

Finanza & Mercati, 2010-04-22
E.On Italia, the Italian division of the German energy firm E.On, has cancelled the sale of its assets. The decision came as it the financial and strategic conditions for the sale were not reached, and as potential buyers were having problems to access the funds necessary to complete any transaction. E.On Italia has a network of 9,200km, mainly in Northern Italy, with 300 concessions and around 600,000 customers. The assets had been valued at around EUR 300mn (USD 401.65mn) to EUR 330mn on the regulatory asset base.
© Esmerk


Kaunas city council supports Fortum's CHP plant project

Baltic News Service, 2010-04-19
The city council of Lithuania's second-largest city, Kaunas, has recommended that the municipal heating utility, Kauno Energija, open talks with Finnish-owned Fortum Heat Lietuva about establishing a joint venture. Fortum Heat Lietuva has proposed that a joint venture with Kauno Energija build a new heat and power plant in Kaunas. Andrius Kupcinskas, mayor of Kaunas, said the city needs to find alternative energy sources to ensure the lowest possible heating prices. Vitalijus Zuta, CEO of Fortum Heat Lietuva, said the power plant would help Kaunas reduce gas consumption.© Esmerk


Enea declares interest in nuclear power plant project

Puls Biznesu, 2010-04-19
Polish vertically-integrated energy group Enea is planning to compete for the right to realise the construction and operation of the second of two nuclear power plants planned by the Polish government. At the moment, the largest Polish energy group, PGE, has priority in the realisation of the nuclear power plant in the first location specified by the government.

However, Enea has stated that it has not been refused the right to compete to realise the delivery of the nuclear power plant in the second location, and therefore it is pursuing this aim. The company would be most interested in carrying out such a project in Kozienice - one of the two possible locations for the second plant - where it has a coal-fired power station - and the existing infrastructure would shorten the time of realising the construction of a nuclear power plant, according to Enea.
© Esmerk


Iberdrola gets approval for 1,500MW wind power

Wall Street, 2010-04-20
Transelectrica, the Romanian power grid operator has granted a licence to Iberdrola Renovalbes to connect 1,500 MW of wind power to the national grid between 2011-2017. In Romania, Iberdrola is using Eolica Dobrogea, owned by NEK of Switzerland and the Romanian firms C-Tech and Rokura, to implement all its wind power projects. Construction of the country's first wind power farm, the 80MW Mihai Vitazu facility, will start in 2010 with production of electricity planned for January 2011.
© Esmerk


Endesa and Iberdrola to be paid EUR 7.73bn from tariff deficit

El Mundo, 2010-04-22
The Government of Spain has admitted that power companies Endesa and Iberdrola are entitled to EUR 7.73bn (USD 10.34bn) compensation from the cumulative tariff deficit in inland Spain up until the end of 2009. So far, the tariff deficit (the difference between revenues and costs from power generating activities) has been mainly financed by the companies.

All these liabilities, plus these from generating electricity outside inland Spain (eg Balearic and Canary Islands), will be returned as part of a EUR 10bn bond operation and the gains from that funds up until 2013. As part of the new decree set by Spain's Government, the 2009 tariff deficit was shared by Iberdrola (EUR 1.225bn); and Endesa (EUR 1.545bn). In order to list the tariff deficit, banks will purchase debt which will be paid for by consumers during a 15 year period.
© Esmerk


Proceedings started for Alpiq's planned nuclear power plant

Finanz und Wirtschaft, 2010-04-21
The Swiss canton of Solothurn has started proceedings for the regional development plan related to the new nuclear power plant which the Swiss power generating firm Alpiq wants to build in Niederamt. The new facility would produce between 1,100 and 1,600 megawatts of power. The federal decision on the matter is not expected before 2013.
© Esmerk

United Kingdom

National Grid under fire over transmission charges

Times Online, 2010-04-20
National Grid faces criticism over the charges it imposes for transmitting electricity. The chief executives of Scottish and Southern Energy and ScottishPower have put their names to a letter to politicians warning that some renewable electricity generation schemes could be abandoned or delayed because of National Grid's transmission charges. The firms are lobbying for the next government to launch a review of the transmission network charging regime.

Power sources in most of southern England receive subsidies, while generators in the north of Scotland are charged GBP 20.08 (EUR 22.83 USD 30.79) per kilowatt for transmission network access. The energy companies claim National Grid's charging structure, which promotes power plants close to areas of high demand, is not suitable for the promotion of renewable energy facilities that tend to be in remote areas.
© Esmerk