Finland’s Fortum to revive idle coal plant to add power capacity
By Essi Lehto
HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish utility Fortum on Friday said it plans to add 560 megawatt (MW) capacity to the Nordic power market after October by reactivating an idle coal-fired power plant on Finland’s west coast.
The company made the decision after the Finnish Energy Agency dropped the plant from Finland’s peak-load capacity reserve.
“Fortum will start preparing the Meri-Pori power plant for commercial use,” the company said, adding that additional personnel will be recruited in the coming weeks.
“However, the deployment of actual electricity production depends on the electricity market situation at the given time,” the company added.
Fortum’s move was welcomed by Fingrid, the state-owned power transmission system operator.
“This was absolutely fantastic,” Fingrid CEO Jukka Ruusunen told Reuters.
“This is very good: first, because it did not go into the reserve and second, because Fortum made a very responsible decision to bring it to the market as additional capacity,” he added.
With the energy market being very tight due to lost Russian supply and other outages around the Nordic region, running a coal plant has become an attractive choice for a utility, Ruusunen said.
Fortum will also adjust procurement of the coal supply and chemicals needed for commercial operation.
Fingrid has estimated that on a cold winter day with little wind this year, it will need to import 2,200 MW to cover an estimated Finnish peak consumption of 15,100 MW.
(Reporting by Essi Lehto, editing by Nora Buli and Terje Solsvik)