Small stake holder says to exit Fennovoima nuclear consortium
HELSINKI Oct 17 (Reuters) - Finnish rural utilities provider Etela Savon Energia said on Thursday that it plans to sell its stake in nuclear consortium Fennovoima, ahead of a decision by investors later this month on whether to go ahead with plans to build a reactor.
"It was our decision. We have a 1 percent (stake) and we are selling that," said Erkki Karppanen, an executive at Etela Savon Energia which is one of around 60 owners in the Finnish-based Fennovoima project.
Fennovoima has said its stake holders will decide by the end of the month on whether to go ahead with the reactor, due to be built by Russia's Rosatom and begin production in 2024.
There have been concerns that some stake holders will opt out due to worries about costs, making it difficult for the project to go ahead.
The proposed 1,200-megawatt reactor is estimated to cost 4-6 billion euros ($5-8 billion) and is intended to secure cheap energy for members of the consortium which also include stainless steel maker Outokumpu and retailer Kesko .
Some stakeholders, including Outokumpu and nickel miner Talvivaara, are currently struggling to turn around their main businesses, putting pressure on their finances.
Doubts over the project were also raised last year following the departure of investor E.ON. Rosatom, however, has said it is considering taking a 34 percent stake in the project, which would help to secure funds for the reactor. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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