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Finland’s Fennovoima Nuclear Project Board Asks CEO to Step Down

The board of the Fennovoima Oy nuclear power project in Finland, in which German utility EON AG holds the biggest stake, asked Chief Executive Officer Tapio Saarenpaeae to step down.

“The rationale for the management change is of a practical nature, with the picking of a plant supplier now becoming the main focus,” Chairman Pekka Ottavainen, who also acts as CEO of Voimaosakeyhtioe SF, which represents more than 60 shareholders in the project, said by phone from Helsinki.

EON has a 34 percent stake in the project with other companies grouped in Voimaosakeyhtioe. Fennovoima plans to sell power at production cost for the lifetime of the plant to its shareholders, starting early next decade. The company has a permit to build a nuclear power plant at a greenfield site in Pyhaejoki in northern Finland, and will this year or next choose between reactor designs from Areva SA and Toshiba Corp. for a 1,600 to 1,800 megawatt unit.

Project manager Juha Nurmi will act as interim CEO, Maira Kettunen, a company spokeswoman, said by phone from Helsinki.

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