Industry powered by Statkraft

Did you know that Statkraft delivers electricity to customers? You pay for example Fjordkraft or Norgesenergi for your electricity use, as well as a grid fee to Hafslund. But most likely the electrons in your socket originally stems from one of our many (and huge) hydro power plants. Statkrafts main business is production of renewable energy, and all of the power is sold to the power exchange. From here Fjordkraft and Norgesenergi buy the power, before selling it on to you. This is how the energy market is regulated – the business is unbundled to separate production, transmission and distribution from each other. But actually Statkraft also delivers physical power directly to customers, quite a few TWh actually. How come?


Well, let us go back in time for a while. After World War 2, there was a great focus on rebuilding the nation, increase export and create jobs. Large hydro power plants were constructed and large industries were placed close to these, to secure access to electricity. The Norwegian state provided long-term power contracts to the industry for a very low fixed price. These contracts were actually some of the longest and cheapest power contracts that have ever been signed globally (!).

Expansion of the power station building at Glomfjord in 1948. (Photographer: unknown)

When the last contracts expired in 2005 the original plan was to prolong them. But since the entering into these contracts, the energy market had been deregulated and free competition had been introduced. Thus such cheap power contracts were noncompliant with the existing regulations from ESA.

New contracts were signed, but to a fair market price. These deliveries of large amounts of electricity to large industrial customers MTNP, the unit in which I am currently working (for my last trainee rotation), maintains and administer. We provide a wide variety of energy services, like managing our customers’ consumption and production of energy in the market, optimize and balance their positions in the different markets and so on.

The view was amazing from the highest tower at the industry park Herøya. This actually used to be the tallest building in Norway, before Oslo Plaza was completed.

Yara

Recently, I visited the industry company Yara, at their production site on Herøya in Porsgrunn. Herøya, with its 1,5 square kilometers, is in fact the largest industry park in Norway. Here Yara has one Ammonia plant, three Nitric Acid plants and one Calcium Nitrate plant – producing a large variety of fertilizers. It was really interesting to learn more about the fertilizer business – especially how they can customize their products to different soils, crops and needs. For example, if the population in a county has a shortage of a specific mineral, say Zink, Yara may add this to the fertilizer and thus prevent deficiency diseases. Cool, huh? Read more about Yara’s business here .

Me fully equipped and ready for a tour at Yara’s production site at Herøya. Notice the gas mask in my right hand – which is mandatory to bring along at the site.

Best,

Lotte

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