Russia, Finland and Norway’s representatives met to discuss Lake Inari co-regulation

28.01.2015

On January 28, 2015, the Kolskiy Branch of TGC-1 welcomed the representatives of Russia, Norway and Finland who came to discuss the regulation of Lake Inari, the source of water for the near-border hydroelectric power plants.

At the meeting, the parties reviewed the highlights of the year 2014 and discussed a discharge schedule for the next half-year.

“2014 brought mixed results: the first half was close to normal in terms of water supply, while the second half saw low water levels, and we had to reduce the discharge of water to the minimum. In 2015, water supply is close to the long-term average,” explained Oleg Tyapinov, Deputy Chief Engineer at the Kolskiy branch of TGC-1.

The key concern that this tripartite cooperation is meant to address is how to protect the region’s environment and keep the power plants running. The main focus of the power industry experts and ecologists is to keep Lake Inari’s water level fluctuations as close to the natural ones as possible and preserve the local flora and fauna.

“We’ve been seeing hydrology and climate changes, with springs coming earlier and winters bringing more warm weather than before. The workgroup has to respond to these trends by preventing unnecessary water discharges in winter and keeping Lake Inari’s water level stable,” said Juha Kämäräinen, engineer at Lapland’s Center for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

The results of the meeting are to become the basis of a protocol that special representatives of the three countries will sign in Rovaniemi, Finland, from February 10 to February 12, 2015. Such meetings have been held annually since 1959 to allow specialists of the near-border power facilities to exchange latest information and preserve the lake’s natural resources.

“Our tripartite cooperation has rich long-standing traditions. We trust each other and always reach a consensus,” added Monica Jerijærvi, Executive Director at Pasvik Kraft AS. 

Additional Information

The Tripartite Agreement Concerning the Regulation of Lake Inari by Means of the Kaitakoski Hydroelectric Power Station and Dam was signed in 1959 by the governments of the Soviet Union, Norway and Finland. The subject of the agreement was control of the water-levels in Lake Inari in Finland and the River Paz that had its source in it. 

There are seven hydroelectric power plants at the river, with five of them forming the Paz HPPs Cascade owned by TGC-1 and the other two being part of Norway’s energy system (Pasvik Kraft As). The water system is regulated by the Kaitakoski hydroelectric power plant, which is the first power plant in the Paz cascade, as it has a direct impact on the water level that is necessary for the power plants located down the river to function normally.

The Paz HPPs Cascade is used to export electricity to Finland and Norway.