Statkraft AS - Securing the water flows in the Surna River

07.03.2007 08:00 | pressrelease

(Oslo 7 March 2007)Statkraft wishes to install a bypass valve at Trollheim Power Plant in order to secure the flow of water in the Surna river in the event of unforeseen stoppages in electricity generation. In connection with an accident in 2005 the power plant stopped production, and fish fry stranded as a result of the lower water flow. Statkraft has been fined by the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim) for contravention of the Water Resources Act.

High temperatures in the power plant transformer in August 2005 caused the outage. The facility's generator stopped, which in turn halted the flow of water through the power station. Water flows in the Surna river were reduced for an hour an a half before the facility was back in operation, which resulted in the fry being stranded. Statkraft was reported to the authorities for this incident, and Økokrim has issued Statkraft with a fine of NOK 1.5 million for the failure of its routines and has ordered that NOK 2 million of the company's profits be confiscated.

Accepts the fine

"What happened in 2005 was unfortunate, unintentional and regrettably had consequences for the river environment. In our opinion, we operate our facilities in an environmentally sound manner. We note, however, that Økokrim in this instance has reached another conclusion, and we are therefore willing to accept the fine. We feel it is more important that we use our resources to ensure that nothing similar happens again, rather than using them in court," says EVP Jørgen Kildahl.

Utilising the water

Statkraft is responsible for making the most of the water within an environmentally acceptable framework. Any measure that can lead to a loss of water is given careful consideration. Statkraft has reviewed in full all technical aspects and routines after the incident and believes it has found a good solution.

"The bypass valve will channel the flow of water past the generator and on into the Surna river. In the event of any stoppage at the power plant, adequate water flows will be maintained. We are also preparing an application for a licence for a supplementary generator at Trollheim Power Plant. It will generate electricity more efficiently when the flow of water is low than the single large generator we have today," says Jørgen Kildahl.

Trollheim Power Plant, which is located in the municipality of Surnadal in the county of Møre og Romsdal, went into operation in 1968. Trollheim Power Plant has an installed capacity of 130 MW and an average annual output of 739 GWh.

Statkraft is Europe's second largest company within renewable energy. We produce hydropower and wind power, we build gas-fired power plants and we focus on innovation with a clear ambition to deliver the energy solutions for the future. We are a considerable actor on the European Power Exchanges, with special expertise within physical and financial power trading. In Norway we own shares in companies that supply electricity to more than 600,000 customers. We had gross revenues of around NOK 16 billion and a profit after tax of NOK 6.3 billion. More than 2000 employees in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Bulgaria and Serbia create value every day. Together we strive to be a European leader in environment-friendly energy.