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Statkraft to Invest ~US$1.95 billion to Upgrade Norwegian Hydropower Plants

Statkraft, the largest renewable energy company in Europe is facing a period of major renovation as the life span of existing Norwegian plants comes to a technical end. As part of these renovations Statkraft are reinvesting NOK12 billion (US$1.95 billion) in upgrading hydro power plants throughout the country. Nedre Røssåga is an expanded power plant that is being constructed in Nordland County as part of this reinvestment project will cost NOK1.7 billion (US$277 million) alone, in addition the new Kjensvatn power plant nearby costs an estimated NOK360 million (US$58.6 million).

The reinvestment is due to the aging of the existing plants. In technical terms, when a hydropower plant reaches 50, it is deemed ready for retirement. Many of the plants of Norway and Sweden were constructed in the 1960’s and are coming to this age span. Erik Høstmark who is head of the Asset Ownership Unit said “We’re entering a period where power plants from the 1960’s are entering their 50th anniversary. The 60’s was the decade with the most hydropower developments in Norway. When so many plants are ageing, we’re entering a time for many major renovations.”

It is estimated that a total of NOK12 billion (US$1.95 billion) will be reinvested in Norway and Sweden from 2014-2018.  In 2014 alone, NOK 2 billion (US$326 million) will be reinvested into Norway and Sweden, with this expected to rise to NOK2.8 billion (US$456 million) in 2016. Annual maintenance budget which includes projects with a budget of less than NOK300 million (US$48.8 million) will increase ~40 percent in the same time period. Estimates place the total maintenance figure at around NOK1.25 billion (US$200 million) in Norway. This is in part due to the differing lifespan of the various components. Control facilities and management systems need replacing after 20 years, where transformers can last 50.

Highlighting this, Høstmark commented by saying “If you’re a mechanic, there’s almost no end to how long you can fix a Volvo. If you’re careful to replace parts, the car can last a long time. Although the tires get worn out the body remains.” He went on to say “Our philosophy is to utilize as much as possible of the power plants’ value before we build something new. For instance, Nore I from 1928 will be almost 100 years old before we replace it with a new plant.”

The renovation of Nedre Røssåga and the building of the new Kjensvatn power plant will increase the total power production in the region by 280-GWh corresponding to the consumption of 14,000 households.

Source: Energy Business Review
Link:
http://hydro.energy-business-review.com/news/statkraft-to-invest-12bn-to-upgrade-hydro-power-plants-131213-4147131


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