Russia cuts off electricity from Finland; the industry group sees a NATO link

The Russian state-owned company RAO Nordic cut off all electricity exports to at the beginning of Saturday.

Russian electricity is no longer coming to Finland, as the Finnish state-owned electricity company Fortum had already suspended the import of electricity to at the eastern border.

The state grid company had also restricted the remaining Russian exports at the end of April to only about 10 per cent of Finnish consumption.

Finland does not have to worry about electricity shortages Reima Päivinen, Vice . However, he said Russia’s cut-off will raise the price of electricity, which has already risen significantly this year.

RAO Nordic is a Finnish subsidiary of the state-owned energy company Inter RAO. It announced on Friday night that it would suspend electricity exports to Finland on Saturday at 1 p.m.

RAO Nordic said it has had difficulty obtaining payments for the electricity it sells due to the sanctions.

"As of May 6, the funds have not yet been credited to our bank account. This situation is exceptional and occurred for the first time in our 20-year trading history," the company said in a statement. "It is hoped that the situation will improve [sic] electricity trade with Russia may resume soon," it added.

A spokesman for the European power exchange Nord Pool responded to to ask if payments were required in rubles: "We have never had payments in rubles, only in euros, Norwegian kroner, Swedish krona and Danish krone, in accordance with our standard policies."

“Finland is doing quite well without Russian electricity”

Since the end of April, Russian electricity has accounted for only a tenth of Finland’s total consumption.

"Of course, it is the spring-summer season, so consumption has fallen from the peak of winter consumption," Päivinen from Fingrid told .

"Finland is doing well without Russian electricity. We will replace it with domestic production or imported electricity, mainly from Sweden and the Baltic countries," he said.

He said it was a surprise that RAO Nordic decided to stop imports as soon as the cut was anticipated.

“Suspicious timing”

Jukka LeskeläThe CEO of the Finnish Energy Industry Association said that the timing of RAO Nordic’s decision was questionable.

The RAO statement came the day after the president Sauli Niinistö and the (SDP) stated its support for Finland’s NATO membership in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

"Such a sudden announcement raises the question of whether the reason given by RAO Nordic is genuine," Leskelä said and added that he believed that the in Russia would be related to Finland’s pending NATO membership application.

More wind and nuclear power coming into the grid

The wholesale price of electricity is likely to increase due to growing demand in the Nordic .

"This means that the price of electricity in Finland will become more expensive [on Saturday] than, for example, in Sweden" said Widow.

However, since most consumers buy their electricity by contract or at a fixed price, the closure of Russian electricity will not have an immediate effect on the average consumer, Fingrid’s Päivinen said.

"Of course, when the wholesale price rises, it also passes on to consumer prices over time," he pointed out.

On 22 April, Fingrid reduced the maximum capacity of Russian imported electricity from 1,300 MW to 900 MW. "the changing international situation".

Päivinen said at the time that the change was related to preparing for possible Russian hybrid actions during the NATO application process, which is likely to take several months.

"The Finnish authorities have stated that there may be external disruptions to the infrastructure in connection with the NATO debate." Päivinen said.

Finland’s self-sufficiency in electricity production will increase due to the increase in domestic wind power production and the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor, which is expected to be fully operational in September. At the beginning of May, plans to build a new Russian-Finnish nuclear power plant were canceled.

"This year alone, another 2,000 megawatts of new wind power is expected on the grid. Finland is expected to be self-sufficient in electricity in 2023." Fingrid said Friday.

Source: The Nordic Page

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