Urgency for masts

Urgency for masts

March 17, 2014
Head of Communication

A new 500 km long power line between Nordland and Finnmark should be completed within three years, but the challenge of casting the concrete foundations in the cold needs to be solved.

The power supply in Northern Norway is vulnerable. Storms or technical faults have blacked out large parts of the region on several occasions, the most recent of which was on February 21 this year. An urgent upgrade of the infrastructure is required, with a view to both security of supply and expected increase in energy consumption.

Statnett is constructing a 513 km long power line from Narvik to Hammerfest over a three-year period. About half of the grid network runs along the existing line, while the other half will be brand new.

Statnett is starting to run out of time and as a consequence needs to build year-round. Current regulations and methods do not allow casting of mountain foundations for masts if the temperature in the mountain is lower than minus 10 °C. In practice, it will often be necessary to stop work at higher temperatures than this, too.

In order to expand the construction season Norut Narvik, in collaboration with HeatWork, has developed a new concept that makes it possible to cast mountain foundations irrespective of the mountain and air temperatures.

Blogging about testing

The original plan was that the method should be tested this winter by casting four foundations that would be a permanent part of the line between Beisfjord and Balsfjord. However, this work has now been postponed until next winter, pending the clarification of the rights of the reindeer grazing districts.

Norut Narvik is blogging about the testing. Click on this link to read the blog about work in January and February:

http://fm65.blogspot.no/

As the main project has been postponed, Norut has got Statnett onboard for a smaller project to test the method by constructing two full-scale mast foundations in accordance with Statnett's specifications. This is taking place outside the line network, near Norut’s Laboratory for Thermal and Hygroscopic Investigations of Soil Behaviour in Cold Climates at Djupvik near Narvik.

This project was started in late February. Images from a time lapse camera and the results from logging will be made ​​available to the project participants in virtually real time.

The work on mast foundations forms part of the major international ColdTech Project, which is managed by Norut Narvik.