Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) is set to provide an Nkr600m (€59.39m) loan to finance Agder Energi’s Åseral Nord hydropower project along the Mandal watercourse in Åseral, Vest-Agder, Norway.
The ten-year loan will be used to renew hydropower facilities and install an additional turbine at the existing hydropower plant.
The project features a new dam, a hydro tunnel and an additional turbine at the Skjerka power station.
The investment is estimated to increase production capacity by 60GW/h a year.
NIB president and CEO Henrik Normann said: “The increased storage capacity, hydraulic capacity and generation will have a positive impact on the use of water resources and the management of downstream flows affecting a number of power units utilising the river system.
“Projects like these are important in balancing the variable wind and solar power in the European power market and for contributing to the green shift.”
The new dam will be 10m higher and sit directly downstream from the old Langevatn dam that was built in the 1950s.
Once completed, the dam is expected to increase the reservoir capacity from 22 million cubic metres to 47 million cubic metres.
A new 7.2km tunnel will be built as the existing 13km tunnel that connects Langevatn dam and Nåvatn reservoir is at the risk of collapsing. Following the completion, the new tunnel is expected to improve hydraulic capacity.
The Skjerka hydropower plant uses water from the Nåvatn reservoir for power generation. It will be equipped with an additional Francis turbine.
The investments will reduce water volumes bypassing the power stations by about 88 million cubic metres annually.