Fortum said Friday it is preparing to participate in the tender processes for hydropower concessions in France, which are expected to officially start in 2011. According to Fortum’s strategy, the company’s long-term focus is selective growth in the integrating European power market, the Nordic countries and Russia.
“The renewal of the French hydropower concessions represents a rare opportunity for a substantial hydropower stake in the centre of the European electricity markets. Our strategy builds on strong competence in hydropower production and a proven track record in operating in competitive energy markets. Hence, the upcoming opportunities in France fit very well with our strategy. Fortum is prepared to participate in the first tranche tender qualification in 2011”, says Matti Ruotsala, Executive Vice President, Fortum Corporation.
France is the second-largest market in Europe in terms of installed hydropower capacity (25,000 MW). In the frame of the European directive, France is to open up the hydro concession renewal process for competition. The French Government is thus putting the first tranche of ten concessions with a total capacity of 5,300 MW into a tender process in 2011-2015.
Fortum’s ambition in France is to contribute to building a low-carbon society with its core competence in CO2-free energy production. In 2009, 91% of Fortum’s power production in Europe was CO2-free.
Fortum claims to have a proven track record of efficient and sustainable hydropower production. The company has long-term experience from planning, refurbishing as well as operation and maintenance of some 260 hydropower plants in the Nordic countries. Hydropower, with a total capacity of 4,600 MW, accounts for over one third of Fortum’s annual power generation. A major part of the power is generated by the 211 hydropower plants located in central Sweden. In Sweden, the largest power plants in terms of capacity are along the Ljusnan, Indalsälven and Dalälven rivers. In Finland, Fortum is the largest hydropower producer with 49 power plants along the Kemijoki river, the Oulujoki river and the waterways of Vuoksi.