Finnish utility Fortum has reported all-time low hydro production of 3.9 TWh in the fourth quarter of 2013, down from 7.1 TWh in 2012. It blamed low reservoir levels and weak precipitation in the first three quarters of the year.

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Finnish utility Fortum has reported all-time low hydro production of 3.9 TWh in the fourth quarter of 2013, down from 7.1 TWh in 2012. It blamed low reservoir levels and weak precipitation in the first three quarters of the year.

Fortum owns 4624 MW of hydropower capacity at 160 plants in Sweden and Finland.

In 2013, hydropower produced 18.1 TWh of Fortum’s electricity in the Nordic region, a fall of around 28% from 25.2 TWh in 2012. Hydropower accounted for almost 40% of Fortum’s electricity production in 2013 compared with around half the previous year.

"The Nordic hydro reservoirs were below the long-term average and although the levels normalised towards the end of the year, they were still clearly lower than last year’s record-high levels," said Fortum’s president and CEO Tapio Kuula

At the beginning of 2013, Nordic water reservoirs were at 85 TWh, which is 2 TWh above the long-term average level. By the fourth quarter they had reached 91 TWh, which according to Fortum was 10 TWh below the long-term average and 18 TWh below the corresponding level in 2012.

"Precipitation was weak in Fortum’s operating areas during the first three quarters of the year; this put pressure on hydro volumes and thus impacted Fortum’s results negatively," Kuula added.

Fortum noted that heavy precipitation, mild weather and moderate consumption led to rapid normalisation of reservoirs. At the end of December 2013, the reservoirs were at 82 TWh, which is 1 TWh below the long-term average and 3 TWh below the corresponding level in 2012.


Photo: The 275 MW Trängslet hydropower plant in Sweden (Source: Fortum)