The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and Kemijoki Oy have inked a significant deal, signing a 15-year €50 million loan to bolster Kemijoki Oy's hydropower initiatives in northern Finland from 2023 to 2027.

Kemijoki Oy's investment program focuses on modernizing and maintaining its hydropower assets, introducing cutting-edge technologies like the short-term energy storage system, HYCAP (HydroPower Capacity), and implementing novel solutions to facilitate fish migration in hydropower sites.

The HYCAP project at Kemijoki Oy involves piloting the combined use of electricity storage and power plants. This setup allows power plants to swiftly respond to short-term fluctuations in electricity demand and production. The initial implementation of this electricity storage solution occurred at the Kurkiaska power plant in March 2023, with plans to replicate similar units in the future.

A key aspect of Kemijoki Oy's strategic objectives and biodiversity program is to enhance migratory fish stocks. The company is introducing a state-of-the-art floating hydraulic fishway, which facilitates fish migration past dams and other barriers. The Taivalkoski power plant is currently in the permitting process for a fishway, and in 2023, Kemijoki Oy aims to develop migration solutions for all its power plants south of Rovaniemi. This initiative will enable migratory fish to traverse between the Bay of Bothnia and the Ounasjoki river.

“NIB is well positioned to provide the essential long-term financing for investments in hydropower,” said André Küüsvek, President, and CEO of NIB. “Notably, this 15-year loan supports Kemijoki Oy’s energy storage technology, which is an innovative solution that enhances Finland’s security of supply.”

“As a trailblazer of sustainable and flexible hydropower, Kemijoki Oy enables the energy transition and everyday life in Finland. In the coming years, we will make significant investments in projects that help us maintain and improve our operational performance and promote biodiversity,” added Markus Katara, Deputy CEO of Kemijoki Oy.

In addition to ongoing renovations and power lifts, Kemijoki Oy is actively engaged in repair and development projects at its power plants to fortify production security and safety. Established in 1954, Kemijoki Oy operates as a Mankala company, producing electricity at cost for its shareholders. Presently, the company stands as the foremost producer of hydropower and regulating power in Finland, operating 20 hydropower plants generating approximately 4,000–5,000 GWh of electricity annually and contributing over 40% of the balancing power produced in the country.