Statkraft, SCA to develop hydro, wind in northern Sweden

Norwegian utility Statkraft and Swedish paper company Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) have formed a joint venture to develop hydropower and wind projects in northern Sweden.

The companies said September 14 that they intend to invest 16 billion kronor (US$2 billion) to generate 2,800 GWh of wind power per year at seven wind farms on forest land in Vasternorrland and Jamtland, Sweden. Statkraft is to provide financing while SCA grants land for the projects.

Plans also include studying the feasibility of developing hydropower projects on four waterways where SCA owns rights, the Ammeran in Jamtland; the Roan, a tributary of the Angerman River; the Edsoxforsen in Harkan; and the Byske River.

To initiate the hydropower projects, the companies said they hope to prompt a review of hydropower policy in Sweden, which has prohibited expansion of hydropower �for over a quarter of a century.�

�We have the greatest respect for the ecological values in an unexploited waterway, but we still feel that we must be able to examine whether using modern technology can exploit hydropower with a reasonable balance between ecological value and economy,� SCA Forest Products President Kenneth Eriksson said. �Swedish industry needs more energy production and the world needs energy production that does not cause increased emissions of greenhouse gases.�

Eriksson said the companies want to involve all stakeholders in an unbiased study of possible hydro development.

�Lastly, there will naturally also be a political review of whether new hydropower has a role to play in Sweden’s future energy supply,� he added.

In a separate deal, the companies signed a 10-year contract for Statkraft to supply 500 GWh annually to SCA wood products facilities.

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