And best of all: in the last year, the main job was done without accidents. “We are very proud”, says the manager of the plants at Telemark, Pål Thorud.
In the most difficult times, more than 500 people were working at the plant at the same time and, in the first half of this year alone, the modernization work took place in 22 different places between Moesvatn and Tinnsjoeen. Eighty companies were involved, many of them local suppliers. The project was directed by the project sector at Hydro.
Many modernizations and improvements
“Altogether, hundreds of modernizations, repairs and improvements were made, some of them related to the requirements of public authorities, but also improvements in the area of safety, preventive maintenance and others simply because they are more profitable. We concluded that the result would be a great loss of water, if we took one plant at a time. So we got together and did what had to be done at the five plants at once. The ideal is to do as much as possible at the same time and then put them all into operation at once. This work was so great that we had to divide the major stages in two years, but everything went very well and part of the production was put into operation several weeks ahead of schedule at the beginning of the semester - that alone represents tens of millions of crowns ”, he comments Thorud.
The plants produced as much as they could in winter and spring, in order to be able to afford this type of maintenance in the summer. In general, we can say that everything went better than expected, especially since the weather was very clear in that region in the summer, even so, due to the large amount of snow in the Rjukanfossene reservoir, it had to work a few more weeks.
A complex operation
Pål Thorud says that the company transferred the security of all dams after the arrival of the new public legislation. The Skarpfoss dam was fully modernized due to possible consequences in the event of a possible rupture.
“When the work was completed, we removed the 1961 dam, while keeping the original 1911 dam in use , in the event of maintenance of the new dam. This operation was extremely complex with many legal requirements for operational safety for workers and third parties ”, he adds.
In addition, two new dams were built. After receiving the safety statement from geologists, much of the mountain cleaning was done the old-fashioned way, using manual methods.
So it is a great satisfaction that the most intense work of the last year has been done without a single accident with a lack or medical treatment.
"How can this be explained?"
“Control risk. The risk register was identified in advance and was followed up during the work, in addition to many preventive actions and systematic reports of adverse conditions. As a manager, overalls must be prioritized and there in the area where things happen, enriching knowledge and exercising visible leadership, ”says Thorud.
The organization has introduced the «green area»: to think all the time about which method is the safest to carry out the work, without taking risks or taking shortcuts.
“What is the key to to be successful in projects like this in general? "
" The same as with safety, having the right people, those who really understand what the job is about. In addition, you must have local knowledge. We learned a lot. We were there every day and saw how everything is built and handled. For this reason, this project was important for the entire Energy organization ”, says Thorud.