Finland regions

Finland’s Fortum to relaunch inactive coal-fired power plant to increase power capacity

The sign of Finnish energy company Fortum is seen at its headquarters in Espoo, Finland July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

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HELSINKI, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Finnish utility Fortum (FORTUM.HE) said on Friday it plans to add 560 megawatts (MW) of capacity to the Nordic electricity market after October by reactivating a coal-fired power plant inactive on the west coast of Finland.

The company made the decision after the Finnish Energy Agency removed the plant from Finland’s peak load capacity reserve.

“Fortum will begin preparing the Meri-Pori power station for commercial use,” the company said, adding that additional staff will be recruited in the coming weeks.

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“However, the actual power generation deployment depends on the power market situation at any given time,” the company added.

Fortum’s decision was welcomed by Fingrid, the public transmission system operator.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” Fingrid CEO Jukka Ruusunen told Reuters.

“It’s very good: firstly, because it didn’t go into the reserve and secondly, because Fortum made a very responsible decision to put it on the market as additional capacity,” he said. he adds.

With the energy market very tight due to the loss of Russian supply and other blackouts in the Nordic region, operating a coal plant has become an attractive choice for a utility, Ruusunen said. .

Fortum will also adjust the supply of coal and chemicals needed for commercial operation.

Fingrid estimated that on a cold winter day with little wind this year, it would have to import 2,200 MW to cover an estimated Finnish peak consumption of 15,100 MW.

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Reporting by Essi Lehto, editing by Nora Buli and Terje Solsvik

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