Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) announced this week it has signed a 15-year loan deal with Steinkjer, Norway-based utility Nord-Tronderlag Elektrisitetsverk Holding AS (NTE) to co-finance three hydropower projects mid-central Norway.
The NOK 340 million (US$42.6 million) loan will help finance NTE constructing Storaselva hydropower plant, rehabilitating Byafossen hydropower plant and replacing the current dam at Namsvatnet Lake.
The new 26.55-MW Storaselva hydropower project features an underground powerhouse being built inside Skromoen Mountain, with an intake about 1 km west of Mollansetra, 16 km from the city of Snasa and near Blafjella-Skaekerfjella National park.
Andritz Hydro will supply three horizontal 8.85 MW Francis turbines, associated generators, automation system and electrical power systems, inlet pipes and cooling systems.
The power plant utilizes the 124-meter-high fall between the intake pool and the station at Skromoen. After commissioning in 2018, Storaselva is expected to annually deliver about 75 GWh.
According to 2013 information, the Byafossen small-scale hydro power plant had a generation capacity of 2.4 MW and an annual generation of approximately 15 GWh. NIB said the annual production of electricity is expected to increase to 35 GWh, leading to indirect reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, NTE is constructing a new 25-meter-high by 330-meter-long rockfill dam at Namsvatnet Lake, immediately north of the existing Namsvatnet Dam. The dam works will end in November 2018.
Namsvatnet Lake is fed by the Storelva River, which comes from Jengelvatnet Lake; Virmaelva River; and Orelva River, which comes from Ovrejaevrie Lake. NIB said the new Namsvatnet Dam will offer increased safety and better water regulation that will benefit the eight downstream hydropower plants.
In November 2014, HydroWorld.com reported NTE issued $110 million in green bonds to refinance four hydroelectric projects it purchased in 2004.
The NTE corporate green bonds have varying maturity and a floating coupon rate:
- US$36.7 million with a 3-year maturity; coupon is at a 3-month Norwegian Interbank Offered Rate (NIBOR) + 48 basis points (bps)
- US$58.8 million with a 5-year maturity; coupon NIBOR +67 bps
- US$14.7 million with a 7-year maturity; coupon NIBOR +79 bps
NIB is an international financial institution owned by eight member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.