3 Nov 2009

NIB finances upgrade of PVO-Vesivoima hydropower plants

NIB and Finnish PVO-Vesivoima have signed a loan agreement totalling EUR 30 million for upgrading hydropower plants in northern Finland, as part of the company’s investment programme for 2009–2015.

The programme includes the refurbishment of five hydropower plants on the river Iijoki, in Raasakka, Maalismaa, Kierikki, Pahkakoski and Haapakoski, built in the 1960s. The power plants are being equipped with new turbines and generators, as well as modernised automation systems. The renovation of the Kierikki and Haapakoski plants was completed in 2007–2009.

The effort will allow the company to increase the capacity of the plants by 40 MW, an increase of 22% from the current level. The larger output capacity will also help improve the balancing of the Finnish power distribution grid.

“We see this project as a substantial contribution to the more efficient use of renewable resources in the production of energy and as having the potential to help phase out coal-fired power generation,” says Johnny Åkerholm, President and CEO of NIB.

As water can be stored in the reservoirs, the balancing power produced at the PVO-Vesivoima hydropower plants is used to offset the fluctuations in demand for electricity on the national grid. Today, hydropower is the most important source of balancing power in Finland.

Earlier this year, NIB extended a loan for the modernisation of three hydropower plants run by Finnish Kemijoki Oy in northern Finland.

PVO-Vesivoima is a fully owned subsidiary of the Finnish power company Pohjolan Voima Oy. PVO-Vesivoima owns and operates eight hydropower plants along the Kemijoki, Iijoki and Kokemäenjoki rivers.

NIB is the common international financial institution of the eight Nordic and Baltic countries. NIB provides long-term financing to the energy, environmental, transport, logistics and communications, and innovation sectors for projects that strengthen competitiveness and enhance the environment. 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

Sebastian Påwals, Senior Manager Origination, at +358 10 618 0527,

Dimitrijs Alehins, Communications Specialist, at +358 10 618 0296,