Finland firm to provide automation, electrical work to upgrade 72-MW Harjavalta hydro project

Project operator Lansi-Suomen Voima Oy has awarded a contract to equipment supplier VEO to supply automation and electrical systems for upgrade of the 72-MW Harjavalta hydropower project in Finland to 110 MW.

VEO (Vaasa Engineering Oy), based in Vaasa, Finland, implements automation and electrification systems for hydroelectric projects in addition to work in other sectors including wind and thermal power, power distribution and industry.

Lansi-Suomen plans to upgrade two existing turbine-generators to 45 MW each from 36 MW and to add a new 20-MW unit at Harjavalta, on Finland’s Kokemaenjoki River. Equipment manufacturer Alstom received a contract in June to refurbish and upgrade two generators, rotors, generator shafts and bearings, and supply new stators, excitation, cooling systems and a 25-MVA generator.

VEO is to provide electrical systems for the three turbines, plant automation, and protective equipment for switchgear. Upon completion the plant will be unstaffed and operated remotely.

Total cost to modernize the 75-year-old plant is set at 40 million euros (US$50.6 million). Actual construction is to begin in 2015 and last nearly two years.

Lansi-Suomen said the project will account for nearly 10 percent of Finland’s goal to increase renewable energy capacity by 2020. The upgraded project is expected to improve flood control and river conditions for recreation, and include a fish hatchery for better maintenance of fish stocks.

European energy producer Statkraft agreed in June to sell its 13 percent stake in Harjavalta and full interest in three other Finnish hydro plants to a consortium of Vantaan Energia, Turku Energia, Oulun Energia, Pori Energia and Oulun Seudun Sanko.

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