The EUR 29 million loan will help Pohjois-Karjalan Sähkö replace 1,150 kilometres of overhead lines with underground cables and transfer 240 kilometres of overhead lines alongside roads.

The investment programme will upgrade one of the largest distribution networks in Finland and continue until 2017. The main benefit is improved security of supply to the company’s customers, of which the largest are heavy industry and municipalities that require constant, reliable electricity distribution.

Other benefits include savings from lower maintenance costs as well as event-related repair costs due to damage from severe weather impacts. The compensation the company has to pay to its customers from this kind of network damage is also expected to decrease.

As part of the investment programme, Pohjois-Karjalan Sähkö will also refurbish three power stations and approximately 1,000 old, pole-mounted transformers. These will either be replaced with pad-mounted transformers or equipped with oil spill protection.

The Finnish energy company Pohjois-Karjalan Sähkö Oy is primarily owned by the municipalities around the city of Joensuu in eastern Finland. The company operates in electricity generation, trading and distribution, as well as grid construction and maintenance. The company was founded in 1945 and employs about 300 people.