October 3, 2018 / 6:09 PM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Areva's Finland reactor may face further delays

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HELSINKI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Finland’s proposed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, which is already more than a decade behind schedule, may face further postponements, plant operator Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said on Wednesday.

The project in western Finland, built by a consortium led by French state-owned nuclear group Areva, has been hit by repeated delays and soaring costs. TVO said the final testing phase is now running late.

“The completion of the commissioning tests has not been progressing according to the updated schedule,” it said, adding that Areva would review the schedule by December.

“TVO cannot estimate whether or not the schedule will influence the start of the regular electricity production in September 2019.”

Areva and TVO settled a long-running court dispute over the project in March, agreeing that Areva must pay 450 million euros to TVO. If the plant is not ready by the end of 2019, there will be an additional penalty of up to 400 million euros.

Olkiluoto 3 would be Finland’s fifth and largest nuclear reactor, providing about 10 percent of the country’s power needs.

The plant was originally scheduled to begin production in 2009. TVO’s owners include Finnish paper companies UPM and Stora Enso, as well as utility Fortum . (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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