11 September 2002 – Fortum yesterday refuted accusations of price fixing among Finland’s largest power producers affecting prices of electricity traded on the Nordpool.

Tapio Kuula, Fortum’s President of Power and Heat told reporters, “I have no information whatsoever that we would have been involved, and if there had been any manipulation I would have known about it”. He said that Fortum had not been officially approached for information in connection with the enquiry.

Last week it was revealed that investigations by Nordpool officials had begun in June over possible price fixing on the Nordic electricity market after sharp swings in prices at Easter. Norwegian and Swedish competition authorities are also involved.

Big Nordic producers – such as Fortum, Norway’s Statkraft, Sweden’s Sydkraft, owned by Germany’s E.ON, and Vattenfall – are seen by some as having the potential to manipulate prices. Statkraft and Vattenfall have also both denied market manipulation.

This is NordPool’s first ever large-scale probe into the issue, and sources say investigators are looking at whether large producers in the Nordic market held back electricity to boost prices and reap the benefits afterwards.