Greenland’s largest hydroelectric power plant – the 45MW Buksefjord project in Buksefjorden – is set to undergo an expansion with N:I:A, consisting of NIRAS, Inuplan, and AFRY, appointed as client consultant for the project. 

The expansion project will increase hydropower production from a maximum of 255GWh to an expected future capacity of potentially 660GWh annually.

The builders of the project are Greenlandic company NunaGreen A/S and utility company Nukissiorfiit. The expansion of the power plant will involve connecting another lake to the power plant, as well as establishing a new 16km transfer tunnel from the current intake at Lake Kangerluarssunnguup Tasersua to Lake Isortuarsuup Tasia. This will increase the available amount of water from 352 million m3 to 1248 million m3.

The project management, tendering of contracts, follow-up, supervision, and all technical disciplines, including tunnelling, technical installations, environmental conditions, plant constructions, and buildings, are included in the task.

"We are happy and proud that NunaGreen and Nukissiorfiit have chosen our team for this important task. NIRAS has worked with hydropower in Greenland for many years. This project is an addition to the series of projects where we can apply our numerous capabilities to contribute to the green energy transition," said Carsten Heine Lund, Director of Infrastructure at NIRAS.

Rasmus Johannsen, NIRAS’ project manager on the assignment, is looking forward to collaborating with Inuplan and AFRY as well as NunaGreen and Nukissiorfiit. He said: "We have held a 2-day workshop to get to know the project well and jointly visited the existing hydropower plant in Buksefjorden. All parties involved have demonstrated a really good energy and a great commitment to creating a good and close collaboration, which is the prerequisite for the project to succeed."

As part of the project plan, a market dialogue with interested general contractors will be carried out in the near future, followed by pre-qualification during the summer of 2023. The contractors will then present their bids, and it is expected that the contract will be awarded to the winning contractor in the spring of 2024.

"We are very happy to have such a competent team of consultants on the project, and we feel very confident about this collaboration. It is a team of advisers who have extensive and long-term experience from similar projects, and they complement each other's skills very well," added Ole Ziemer, project manager at Nukissiorfiit.

The new company NunaGreen A/S, which is owned by the autonomous self-government of Greenland, will own and build the hydropower plant, while Nukissiorfiit will operate the facility after completion.

In addition to the 16 km long transfer tunnel, the project also includes creating a new power station with two turbines next to the existing plant, as well as the construction of several access, transport, and transverse tunnels. According to the current schedule, it is expected that the new part of the hydropower plant will be operational at the beginning of 2029.