“The renewal of the French hydropower concessions represents a rare opportunity for a substantial hydropower stake in the centre of the European electricity markets,” said Matti Ruotsala, Executive Vice President, Fortum Corporation. “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”,

France is the second-largest market in Europe in terms of installed hydropower capacity (25,000MW). 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 5300MW into a tender process in 2011-2015.

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.