28 Apr 2023

Progress on the Expansion of Greenland’s Largest Hydroelectric Plant

28 Apr 2023  by   

Photo courtesy NIRAS

A consulting team consisting of NIRAS, Inuplan and AFRY has been awarded a contract to act as client consultant for the expansion of the Buksefjord hydroelectric power plant in Greenland.

NunaGreen A/S and utility company Nukissiorfiit are the builders of the project, which will increase green energy production from the current maximum of 255GWh annually to an expected future maximum capacity of 660GWh annually. NunaGreen A/S is a new company owned by the autonomous self-government of Greenland and will own and build the hydropower plant, while Nukissiorfiit will operate the facility after completion.

The plant is the largest hydroelectric power plant in Greenland and supplies the city of Nuuk. The current plant was established in 1993, and it was expanded with a third turbine in 2008.

Nuuk is experiencing significant population growth and a greater need for supplies. Expansion of the power plant will be carried out by connecting another lake, as well as establishing a new 16-km-long transfer tunnel from the current intake at Lake Kangerluarssunnguup Tasersua to Lake Isortuarsuup Tasia. This increases the available amount of water from 352 million m3 to 1,248 million m3. The project also includes creating a new power station with two turbines next to the existing plant, as well as the construction of several access, transport and transverse tunnels.

In addition to project management, tendering of contracts, follow-up and supervision, the task includes all technical disciplines, including tunnelling, technical installations, environmental conditions, and plant construction.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with our good colleagues in Inuplan and AFRY and not least with NunaGreen and Nukissiorfit,” said Rasmus Johannsen, NIRAS’ project manager on the assignment. “We have held a two-day workshop to get to know the project well and jointly visited the existing hydropower plant in Buksefjorden.”

As part of the overall plan for the project, a market dialogue with interested general contractors will be carried out in the near future, which will be followed by pre-qualification during the summer of 2023. The contractors will present their bids, and it is expected that the contract will be awarded in the spring of 2024. According to the current schedule, the new part of the hydropower plant will be operational at the beginning of 2029.

“We are very happy to have such a competent team of consultants on the project, and we feel very confident about this collaboration. It is a team of advisers who have extensive and long-term experience from similar projects, and they complement each other’s skills very well,” said Ole Ziemer, project manager at Nukissiorfiit.

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