NIRAS, Inuplan and AFRY will be client consultants on expansion of Greenland's largest hydroelectric plant

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The consultant team N:I:A, consisting of NIRAS, Inuplan and AFRY, has won the task as client consultant for the expansion of the hydroelectric power plant at Buksefjorden in Greenland. The plant is the country's largest hydroelectric power plant in Greenland and it supplies the city of Nuuk.

April 24, 2023

The Greenlandic company NunaGreen A/S and the utility company Nukissiorfiit are the builders of the project, which will increase green energy production from today's maximum of 255 GWh annually to an expected future maximum capacity of potentially 660 GWh annually.

The current hydropower plant was originally established in 1993, and it was later expanded with a third turbine in 2008.

Nuuk is experiencing significant population growth and consequently also a greater need for supplies. The expansion of the power plant is carried out by connecting another lake to the power plant, as well as establishing a new 16 km transfer tunnel from the current intake at Lake Kangerluarssunnguup Tasersua to Lake Isortuarsuup Tasia. This increases the available amount of water from 352 million m3 to 1248 million m3.

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In addition to project management, tendering of contracts, follow-up and supervision, the task also includes all technical disciplines, including tunnelling, technical installations, environmental conditions, plant constructions and buildings, etc.

Contribution to the green transition

"We are happy and proud that NunaGreen and Nukissiorfiit have chosen our team for this important task. NIRAS has worked with hydropower in Greenland for many years. This project is an addition to the series of projects where we can apply our numerous capabilities to contribute to the green energy transition," says Carsten Heine Lund, Director of Infrastructure at NIRAS.

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Rasmus Johannsen, NIRAS’ project manager on the assignment, is also content with the perspectives of the project:

"I am looking forward to collaborating with our good colleagues in Inuplan and AFRY and not least with NunaGreen and Nukissiorfit. We have held a 2-day workshop to get to know the project well and jointly visited the existing hydropower plant in Buksefjorden. All parties involved have demonstrated a really good energy and a great commitment to creating a good and close collaboration, which is the prerequisite for the project to succeed".

As part of the overall plan for the project, a market dialogue with interested general contractors will be carried out in the near future, which will be followed by pre-qualification during the summer of 2023. The contractors will then calculate their offers and present their bids, and it is expected that the contract will be awarded to the winning contractor in the spring of 2024.

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Consulting team with extensive experience

"We are very happy to have such a competent team of consultants on the project, and we feel very confident about this collaboration. It is a team of advisers who have extensive and long-term experience from similar projects, and they complement each other's skills very well," says Ole Ziemer, project manager at Nukissiorfiit.

He emphasizes that NunaGreen, Nukissiorfiit, NIRAS, Inuplan and AFRY are now facing a busy period in connection with preparing the tender: "We will focus on listening to the market in order to be able to best attract the most talented contractors for the task."

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The new company NunaGreen A/S, which is owned by the autonomous self-government of Greenland, will own and build the hydropower plant, while Nukissiorfiit will operate the facility after completion.

"In connection with NunaGreen's creation and recruitment of competences, it has been important to have a good collaboration with Nukissiorfiit, with whom we will work closely in the future. It is also absolutely crucial for the project that an experienced team has now been chosen as consultant for this type of task," says CEO Hans Ulrik Skifte from NunaGreen.

In addition to the 16 km long transfer tunnel, the project also includes creating a new power station with two turbines next to the existing plant, as well as the construction of several access, transport and transverse tunnels. According to the current schedule, it is expected that the new part of the hydropower plant will be operational at the beginning of 2029.

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Get in touch

Carsten Heine Lund

Carsten Heine Lund

Senior Vice President

Allerød, Denmark

+45 6020 1916

Rasmus Johannsen

Rasmus Johannsen

Project Director

Aarhus, Denmark

+45 6034 0954