Following a month-long testing period, the 300-megawatt Auvere Power Plant, which cost more than €600 million, was finally handed over to Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia by General Electric (GE) on Thursday.
The guarantee and operational reliability period of the power plant is to last two years, Eesti Energia said in a press release.
"Although the handing over of the plant was delayed, technical shortcomings have been eliminated by now," Eesti Energia CEO Hando Sutter said. "The plant is working as planned and meets all environmental requirements. I am very glad that, in cooperation with General Electric, we have concluded the plant's construction."
With a capacity of 300 megawatts, Auvere Power Plant, which GE built on the basis of a "turnkey" contract, employs efficient circulating fluidised bed technology for energy production. The plant's efficiency is 40%, and the plant is able to use oil shale as fuel to the extent of 100%, biomass to the extent of 50%, peat to the extent of 20% and oil shale gas to the extent of 10%.
Auvere Power Plant can cover more than 25% of Estonia's electricity consumption, or produce 2.2 terawatt-hours of electricity per year.
GE pays €106 million in penalties for delay
GE has paid €106 million worth of contractual penalties to Eesti Energia due to the delay in handover.
"GE's penalties due to delaying to hand over the power plant totalled €106 million," Eesti Energia communications chief Monika Viidul told BNS. "This sum is not included in the sum of investments. The penalties cover the loss of revenue in connection with Auvere Power Plant not being able to operate at full capacity on time."
Even without taking these penalties into account, the construction of the power plant ultimately cost €28 million less than planned. "The power plant's investment totalled €610 million, which is €28 million less than planned in the budget," she added.
Auvere Power Plant was originally to be handed over to Eesti Energia in 2015. Due to the occurrence of various faults, however, the handover was delayed until it finally took place on Thursday.
From November 2015 through the end of 2016, GE paid €68.6 million in penalties, paying an additional €30.9 million in 2017 and nearly €6.5 million in 2018.
Editor: Aili Vahtla