NIB loan to fund hydro upgrades in Norway

30 January 2020

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) is to lend NOK 600 million (€59.39 million) to Norwegian energy company Agder Energi AS to renew hydropower facilities and install an additional turbine at an existing hydropower plant in Agder, Norway in Agder, Norway.

The loan will finance Agder Energi’s Åseral Nord hydropower project along the Mandal watercourse. The project consists of a new dam, a hydro tunnel and an additional turbine at the Skjerka power station. The investment is expected to increase production capacity by 60 GWh annually, to maintain security of supply and to contribute to more efficient use of hydropower resources.

Agder Energi is constructing a new dam directly downstream from the old Langevatn dam, which dates back to the 1950s. The new dam is 10m higher and increases the reservoir volume from 22 million cubic metres to 47 million cubic metres.

As the existing approximately 13km-long tunnel connecting the Langevatn dam to the Nåvatn reservoir is in poor condition and at risk of collapsing, the company is constructing a new tunnel of 7.2km. This new tunnel will enable better hydraulic capacity.

The Skjerka hydropower plant utilises water from the Nåvatn reservoir. The power plant will be equipped with an additional Francis turbine. The turbine hall is located inside the mountain.

“The increased storage capacity, hydraulic capacity and generation will have a positive impact on the use of water resources and the management of downstream flows affecting a number of power units utilising the river system. Projects like these are important in balancing the variable wind and solar power in the European power market and for contributing to the green shift,” said Henrik Normann, President & CEO of NIB.

Agder Energi AS is one of the largest hydropower producers in Norway, and majority-owned by local municipalities. The company’s operations also include distribution, end-user hydropower sales and other services.

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