Hydro to invest NOK 850 million in Rjukan hydropower upgrade

Hydro will invest about 850 million Norwegian kroner from 2011 to 2015 to upgrade the Rjukan hydropower system in Telemark, southeast Norway, modernizing the major hydro-electric river facility to ensure long-term safe and stable power supplies.

The Rjukan power system comprises five power plants - Frøystul, Vemork, Såheim, Moflåt and Mæl - with a combined normal annual capacity of approximately 3 terawatt hours (TWh) or about 30 percent of Hydro's normal annual hydropower production.

A reliable power source
The planned work will consist of upgrading of the waterways, including a new dam at Skarfoss, new control systems and power distribution, as well as rehabilitating generators and turbines.

"We need to consistently ensure that our power system is safe and sound. The planned work aims to maintain the plant safety level and reduce the risk of potential production losses due to possible faults and outages," says Arvid Moss, executive vice president of Hydro's Energy business area.

The work will start in 2011 and is planned to be completed in 2015. The investments will be distributed over the same four-year period.

Activities requiring total shutdown of all five power plants will be executed in two outage periods of about 16 weeks each, in 2012 and 2014.

"The waterfalls at Rjukan have represented Hydro's most reliable and predictable source of power through our 105-year history. We remain committed to keeping these assets a core part of Hydro also in the future," Moss says.

Out of Rjukan Industrial Park
As part of Hydro's strategy to focus on aluminium and energy production, Hydro has also started a process with the aim to divest its interest in the local industrial park Rjukan Næringspark.

Currently, Hydro has no industrial activity within the park at Rjukan.

Norwegian-based Hydro is a global supplier of aluminium and aluminium products. It is also Norway's largest stock-listed power company, with an average annual hydropower production of 9.4 TWh.

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