NIB finances electricity network improvements in Finland

The FINANCIAL — NIB has signed a 15-year loan with Finland’s largest distribution system operator, Caruna, to strengthen the reliability of electricity supply.

According to NIB, the EUR 150 million loan will finance a Caruna project that involves significant improvements to the company’s electricity network. The upgrade will expand the network’s weatherproof sections by replacing old overhead lines with underground cables. Furthermore, outdated pole-mounted transformers will be replaced with new transformers that are compliant with EU regulations.

The planned measures are not just expected to increase the reliability of supply, but also to improve the energy efficiency of the grid, as the power losses from the refurbished grid will be lower. Other environmental benefits of the investment programme include the reduced visual impact of the grid due to the dismantling of old overhead lines and the lower risk of oil spills due to the replacement of pole-mounted transformers. Dismantled network material will be recycled, according to NIB.

“A better electricity network ensures the security of supply, and enables the supply to be restored more quickly to customers after a power cut. This largely benefits businesses and households in both urban and rural areas in Finland”, says Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO.

Caruna Networks Oy transmits electricity to 672,000 customers and is Finland’s largest distribution system operator, with a 21% market share. Its electricity networks are located in in south, south-western, western and northern Finland, and in the city of Joensuu. Caruna is owned by the Canadian pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) (40%), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s investment management company First State Investments (40%), Finland’s largest pension fund Keva (12.5%), and Finland’s third largest mutual pension insurance company Elo (7.5%).

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