Stories

Statkraft’s new power plant is emerging in the white wilderness.

There are certain apparent challenges associated with constructing a new power plant in such a rugged area in the middle of winter.

The Kjensvatn power plant, which will produce 80 GWh annually, is being developed at the foot of Northern Norway’s largest mountain, Mount Oksskolten in Hemnes municipality. The area is as majestic as it is desolate.

Just how desolate? Once you get off the nearest public road, you have 50 kilometres of construction road before the new power station emerges as a dark speck in the white landscape.

The development comprises three construction areas. One is the power station itself, the other is the construction of an 800-metre transmission tunnel and at the third site, a 20-kilometre 22 KV power line is taking shape.

“There are certain apparent challenges associated with constructing a new power plant in such a rugged area in the middle of winter,” says Leif Nordseth, project manager for the development of the Kjensvatn power plant.

Kjenstvatn

“For instance, we don’t have road access to all the construction sites. Snowmobiles are therefore the only real transport option in these areas.”

The personnel at the power station are not guaranteed that the construction road is open at all times. Until now, the road has not been closed for more than just a few hours at a time, but during these situations, HSE restrictions on what kind of work can be performed are in effect.

“Statkraft has about eight people who work full time on the project,” says Nordseth.

“We also have 70 people from contractors Bleikvassli Gruber AS, Salten Nettjenester and Leonhard Nilsen AS. These are companies based in Northern Norway and all have broad experience with working in the mountains during winter.”

Progress is slightly behind schedule, but Nordseth and his colleagues believe they will complete the work on time.

Commissioning and test production will start as planned in August 2014.

Text: Cato Gjertsen
Photo: Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen
The article is also published in Statkraft's magazine People & Power no. 1/2013