Norway. E-CO Energi Holding AS
|Date of agreement:||11 Dec 2018|
|Customer:||E-CO Energi Holding AS|
|Amount in NOK:||NOK 1,800 million|
|Amount in EUR:||EUR 181.43 million|
|NACE sector / loan type:||Electricity, gas, steam and hot water supply|
Financing from NIB Environmental Bond proceeds
NEB-eligible share: 100%
NEB category: Renewable energy generation
Amount disbursed: EUR 181.2 million
Note: For loans in other currencies than EUR, the equivalent in EUR is based on the exchange rate effective for the disbursement. Read more about the NIB Environmental Bonds
The loan has been provided to E-CO Energi to partly finance the construction of Rosten, Nedre Otta and Tolga: three new, medium-sized hydropower plants located on Norway’s longest river, the Glomma. Further, the loan will finance the upgrade and expansion of an existing plant, named Vamma12.
The Rosten hydropower plant is located in Gubrandsdal in Oppland County. The plant has a capacity of 80 MW, and is expected to produce up to 192 GWh of electricity annually. The project includes the construction of a 4.1 kilometre water intake tunnel to a turbine hall, which houses three turbines. The plant has been operating since August 2018. E-CO Energi owns 44% of the project.
Nedre Otta is an 85 MW hydropower plant with a production capacity of 315 GWh annually. The project comprises two Kaplan turbines, an intake tunnel with a length of 4.6 kilometres, and a 4.4 kilometre outlet tunnel. The project will be completed in 2020. E-CO Energi’s share of investment in the project is 26.9%
The Tolga hydropower plant will have a capacity of 43 MW and generate 205 GWh yearly. The project comprises an underground power station with three turbines, a 1.8 kilometre intake tunnel and a 9.5 kilometre outtake tunnel. Further, a new 132 kV power line will be installed. The plant is expected to be completed in 2021. E-Co Energi’s share of the investment is 40%.
The Vamma12 project is located in Østfold County, south of Oslo. The upgrade and expansion of the plant aims to increase the power production and improve its reliability. A new, 128 MW Kaplan turbine will be installed in a separate building, which will increase annual production by 230 GWh. The project also includes the construction of a new intake tunnel. Commercial production is expected to start in spring 2019.
Hydropower generation on the river Glomma starts in South Trøndelag and ends in Fredrikstad in Østfold.
The loan will be paid out in two equal tranches with maturities of ten and twelve years respectively.
E-CO Energi Holding AS is one of Norway’s leading energy groups. Its core activities are the ownership and management of hydropower plants, and the development of renewable energy projects. E-Co Energi has minority holdings in of Rosten, Nedre Otta and Tolga. The company is 100% owned by the city of Oslo.
Fulfilment of NIB's mandate
The new Rosten plant will increase annual hydropower production by 192 GWh, while Nedre Otta and Tolga will add 315 GWh each. Rosten accounts for 1.5% of E-CO Energi’s total production, and Nedre Otta and Tolga both account for 2.4%.
The upgrade and expansion of the Vamma plant will increase the security of supply and add new generation capacity. An increase in low-cost production will ensure the efficient use of existing hydropower resources, and will raise the competitive pressure on other producers in the electricity pool.
Rosten, Nedre Otta and Tolga are run-of-the-river hydropower plants, which is generally a sustainable way of generating renewable energy in an already regulated watercourse.
The extension of the Vamma plant with a new turbine allows for the use of currently unutilized river flow potential. The output of the plant’s older turbines, which are in need of renovation, will gradually decrease.
The Rosten, Nedre Otta and Tolga projects (the construction of the hydropower plants and their power lines) are expected to have negative environmental impacts on the river, but no sensitive areas are directly impacted. The requirements for minimum flow in the river are expected to minimise negative impacts. The Tolga plant further includes an overflow dam structure with a built-in fish passage. The power lines are not in close proximity to residential areas.
For the Vamma12 project, a limited environmental impact assessment was conducted, in line with the Norwegian Water Resources Act, and submitted to the regional environmental authority.