1 Apr 2009

NIB finances upgrading of Finnish hydropower plants

Finnish hydroelectric company. Kemijoki’s project will lead to new opportunities to develop power generation from renewable energy sources in Finland.

Kemijoki will use the funds to install new turbines at three hydropower plants—Pirttikoski I-II, Vanttauskoski I-II and Ossauskoski I-III built in the 1950s and 60s. New technology will boost the current capacity by 25%, which means 100 GWh more renewable and emission-free energy in the plants’ annual output. This increase is being achieved without constructing new dams, often responsible for negative environmental effects in hydropower production.

The increasing efficiency of existing hydropower plants will help reduce reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity production. This will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The project will also substantially diminish the risk of hazardous leakage from the power plants’ turbines since the new turbines need much less hydraulic oil for lubrication.

The increased output of the Kemijoki hydropower plants will also increase Finland’s ability to balance out its need for electricity in various seasons. The opportunity to store water in reservoirs and adjust the capacity of turbines to actual demand makes hydropower best suited for balancing the level of electricity production for the national grid. This capacity is necessary for Finland to expand power generation from other renewable sources, such as weather-dependent wind power production.

A 75 % share of the project qualifies as environmental investment and qualifies under the CLEERE (the Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) facility, which finances clean energy and energy saving.

NIB is a multilateral financial institution owned by eight member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. The Bank finances private and public projects in and outside the member countries. NIB has the highest possible credit rating, AAA/Aaa, with the leading rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's.

For further information, please contact

Mr Sebastian Påwals, Senior Manager, Lending, at +358 10 618 0527,

Mr Dennis Hamro-Drotz, Environmental Analyst, at +358 10 618 0485,

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