Stoltenberg visits Sima
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg visited Hardanger and the Sima hydropower plant on Sept. 28 for a tour of the facility.
The Prime Minister had a fair weather helicopter flight from Oslo and across the Hardanger mountain plateau before landing at Kjeåsen where the transmission cables from Sima come up. He was greeted by plant manager Vidar Riber and the Eidfjord mayor, before being driven to the hydropower plant.
At the Sima visitors’ centre he was greeted by regional director Jan Alne, who presented some key figures regarding Norway’s second largest hydropower plant (1,120MW installed capacity, average annual production of about 3,000 GWh).
“I also mentioned that it is 30 years ago since the official opening of the Sima hydropower plant by the then Prime Minister Oddvar Nordlie and that the plant has had more than 400,000 visitors since,” Alne says.
The Prime Minister also received a briefing regarding the Vøringfossen waterfall which form part of the Sima development, but remains one of Norway’s best visited landscape attractions.
Local creation of value
“The Prime Minister also appreciated hearing that the Sima hydropower plant also contributes some NOK 110 million annually in taxes to the host municipalities Eidfjord and Ulvik,” Alne says.
The mike was then passed to CEO Atle Neteland of BKK, who presented an analysis of the power supply situation in the Bergen area, and the need for a new transmission line to alleviate bottleneck periods.
The tour then continued by bus deep inside the power plant, and down to the turbine deck where the Prime Minister could take a closer look at the units in operation.
Stoltenberg, who commented on the cleanliness and tidiness of the power plant, got a reply from Alne, that Statkraft will maintain the power plants for eternity.
“When the oil and gas in the North Sea is gone, the hydropower plants will continue generating clean and renewable energy for the benefit of future generations.”