NIB has signed a 15-year loan with Norwegian power company Helgeland Kraft to finance six hydropower plants in Nordland County.

All hydropower plants are designed to make the appearance beautiful and adapted to the surrounding nature. The plants will increase the security of supply and increase the generation capacity by 166 GWh to the Nasdaq (Nordpool) electricity pool.

The NOK 470 million (EUR 49.5 million) loan will fund the construction of five new hydropower plants in the Tosbotn project in the municipality of Brønnøy in the Helgeland region of Nordland County. The hydropower plants are Leiraa, Bjornstokk, Tverraa, Storelva and Tosdalen. Total annual production will be 133 GWh. Construction started in May 2014, and the plants are scheduled to start operations between April 2016 and September 2017.

The sixth hydro power plant is Ovre Forsland, which is the last of four hydropower plants which has been built at the river Forslandselva in Leirfjord municipality in Helgeland. The plant was commissioned in March 2015 and officially opened by the Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien in August 2015. Ovre Forsland generates 33 GWh annually.

"Hydropower is one of the most mature technologies among renewable energies and has among the best conversion efficiencies of all known energy sources", says Henrik Normann, President & CEO of NIB.

"It has been important for us to show that it is possible to build hydropower plants that are both beautiful and adapts to the surrounding nature. We are proud of our hydropower projects in Tosbotn and Ovre Forsland, and that they qualify for a loan from NIB. NIB provides us with long term funding and is a new funding source for us", says Ove Brattbakk, CEO of Helgeland Kraft.

Helgeland Kraft AS has 12 hydroelectric power plants with an annual production of 1,100 GWh. The utility is owned by 14 municipalities in the region of Helgeland in Nordland, where it distributes 6,000 GWh electricity to around 80,000 inhabitants through its 7,800 kilometer distribution network.