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Länsi-Suomen Voima to invest in renewable, emission-free energy – new machine unit for Harjavalta hydropower plant

Pohjolan Voima's shareholder company Länsi-Suomen Voima Oy will invest in renewable, emission-free energy. The company will expand its Harjavalta hydropower plant, located on the Kokemäenjoki river, with a new machine unit. Two existing turbines will also be overhauled. The total investment will amount to approximately EUR 40 million. The project will be completed at the end of 2017. UPM is the biggest shareholder in Länsi-Suomen Voima.

"The Harjavalta investment will bring a considerable increase to the Finnish renewable energy production capacity. The Finnish Government aims to increase hydropower capacity by 2020. The Harjavalta project will account for nearly 10 per cent of the Government's objective. The overhaul will allow us to increase the production capacity and improve the efficiency, control and environmental safety of the plant," says Managing Director Olli Nummelin from Länsi-Suomen Voima.

Finland needs more load-following capacity to balance out the variation in the production and consumption of electricity. The need is accentuated by the construction of new variable, weather-dependent production capacity, such as wind power. Hydropower can be efficiently used as load-following capacity, as it is not dependent on the weather and can be controlled with little delay.

The investment will also improve the regulation of the Kokemäenjoki river, reducing the risk of floods. The city of Pori, located in the lower course of the river, is Finland's number one flood risk area.

According to an estimate by the Finnish Environment Institute, Kokemäenjoki's future flow rates will increase by 50 per cent in the winter and reduce by 50 per cent in the summer. The investment will help us adjust accordingly. The new machine unit will also allow improved control of the continuous water flow. When the water flow is steady, the river can also be used better for recreational purposes," says Olli Nummelin.

After the expansion, the hydropower plant will include facilities for a fish incubator to support the protection and maintenance of local fish stocks.

Länsi-Suomen Voima Oy's shareholders include UPM-Kymmene Oyj, PVO-Vesivoima Oy, Statkraft Suomi Oy, the City of Pori and Pori Energia Oy.

A public briefing and press conference regarding the project will be organised in the Harjavalta hall of the Keskustan koulu school in Harjavalta (Myllykatu 3) on Monday, 14 April 2014 at 5 p.m.

For further information, please contact:  Olli Nummelin, Managing Director, Länsi-Suomen Voima, tel. +358 400 731 350

Länsi-Suomen Voima Oy owns the Harjavalta hydropower plant, first commissioned in 1939, on the Kokemäenjoki river. The level difference of the power plant is 26.4 metres and the total power output of the two Kaplan turbines is 72 MW, which makes Harjavalta one of the most powerful hydropower plants in southern Finland. The new machine unit will be built in connection with the current hydropower plant. The output of the new generator will be approximately 20 MW. The overhaul will upgrade the output of the existing turbines from 36 MW to 45 MW. The total power output of the overhauled plant will be 110 MW. Länsi-Suomen Voima Oy's shareholders include UPM-Kymmene Oyj, PVO-Vesivoima Oy, Statkraft Suomi Oy, the City of Pori and Pori Energia Oy.

UPM renews the fields of bioenergy and forest industry. We build a sustainable future in six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America, and UPM Plywood. We use renewable raw materials and produce recyclable products. We serve customers all over the world. UPM has a total of 21,000 employees and an annual turnover of EUR 10 million. UPM is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.fi

Pohjolan Voima's joint resources increase our customers' competitive advantage through producing efficient and innovative energy services. Our priorities are hydropower, thermal power and nuclear power. We generate approximately 20 per cent of all electricity produced in Finland. www.pohjolanvoima.fi.

Statkraft Suomi Oy is part of the Norwegian Statkraft Group. Statkraft is Europe's largest producer of renewable energy and the leading power company in Norway. The company owns, produces and develops hydropower, wind power, gas power and district heating. Statkraft is a major player in European power trading and has 3,500 employees in more than 20 countries. www.statkraft.com

Pori Energia OY offers quality energy services. Our strengths as an energy producer and a service provider include our local renewable energy capacity and the skilled personnel of more than 200 employees. Our 100 years of history in the energy business ensure a solid and reliable basis for our operations. Pori Energia Oy is owned by the City of Pori.