Capital expenditure

Fingrid’s total capital expenditure in 2018 amounted to EUR 92.7 (111.1) million. This included a total of EUR 85.1 (91.1) million invested in the transmission grid and EUR 2.9 (14.2) million for reserve power. ICT investments amounted to EUR 4.0 (5.7) million. The capital expenditure will remain at the current order of magnitude over the next few years. 

Main grid planning always has a holistic and forward-looking approach. Fingrid’s current grid vision extends to 2040. The grid vision is insight into the long-term development needs of the main transmission grid, including plans following the current projects. The objective of the vision is to accomplish the investments in the transmission grid effectively and timely, both in terms of the macro economy and grid maintenance. 

By international standards, grid maintenance at Fingrid is world-class. Fingrid scored top results in ITOMS (The International Transmission Operations & Maintenance Study) and was the only TSO to achieve a Top Performer nomination both in the substation and transmission line maintenance categories. ITOMS looks into the effectiveness of maintenance based on criteria such as maintenance costs and disturbance statistics. 

Power lines and substations were built extensively throughout Finland in 2018. The total kilometres of new power lines amounted to around 250. Seven substation projects were completed. The biggest ongoing projects are related to the modernisation of the aging ‘Iron Lady’ transmission line, connecting industry and power plants to the grid, and reinforcing the link with Sweden. 

  • The 26-kilometre Vihtavuori–Koivisto power line between Laukaa’s Vihtavuori and Äänekoski’s Koivisto substations was commissioned in January 2018. 

  • The modernised 82-kilometre transmission line connection from the ‘Iron Lady’ link at the Kouvola Koria substation to Yllikkälä, close to Lappeenranta, was completed and commissioned during the period under review. 

  • The last section of the old ‘Iron Lady’ line will be replaced by a new line to be built between Hikiä and Orimattila and to be completed by the end of 2019. The new transmission line runs from Hikiä to Iso-Henna, following the old ‘Iron Lady’s’ right-of-way. A 16-kilometre section of transmission line from Iso-Henna to Orimattila will be built on a new right-of-way. 

  • A new Vuoksi substation has been built between Joutseno and Imatra, and the transmission lines east and west of there will be modernised. The new substation was commissioned during the period under review, and the new transmission lines will be completed in stages by the end of 2019. The new substation and the transmission line routes became topical when Kemira decided to expand the production capacity at its chlor-alkali site in Joutseno. The area is also in general highly industrialised, and the grid investment will improve the operating conditions for other companies as well.

  • The new 400-kilovolt connection from Pyhänselkä in Muhos to Keminmaa and further on to the Messaure substation in Sweden is a strategic transmission link. This is a joint project between Fingrid and the Swedish TSO Svenska Kraftnät. The connection will increase the transmission capacity between the two countries by 800 megawatts. The detailed planning of the right-of-way and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project are currently underway. The transmission link will be built in stages simultaneously in both countries. A total of around 200 kilometres of new powerline will be built on the Finnish side. The planning stages of the project will receive EU support, and all stages of the connection are expected to be completed in 2025. 

Fingrid currently has a total of around 600 kilometres of new transmission lines in the general planning stage. The projects will proceed to the construction stage within the next few years. Finland’s electricity consumption is concentrated in the south, where electricity production is insufficient with regard to consumption. In future, increasing amounts of electricity will be produced in northern Finland and northern Sweden, and this electricity must be transmitted to the south for use by industry and consumers. This requires strong transmission connections between the north and the south. 

  • Planning of the transmission line between Oulu and Petäjävesi, named ‘Forest Line’, has begun. This is a 310-kilometres long 400-kilovolt transmission line. Construction of the ‘Forest Line’ will start in autumn of 2019, and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. 
  • The grid reinforcing measures in North Karelia are in the general planning stage. The three-stage project will provide a total of 112 kilometres of transmission lines. A new substation will be built in Pamilo, and the Kontiolahti and Uimaharju substations will be updated. The project is due for completion in 2022.

  • The grid around the Oulujoki river, built in the 1950s, is under modernisation. The grid upgrade will start with the modernisation of two substations and the expansion of one substation, and with the construction of new transmission lines between Pyhänselkä and Nuojuakangas. The local electricity production mainly consists of hydropower, while also new wind power projects are being planned in addition to the existing wind power production. The first stage, to be completed in 2020–2022, will include the construction of the transmission line section between the Pyhänselkä substation, in Muhos, and the Nuojua substation, in Vaala. The Pyhänselkä substation will be expanded, and the Nuojua and Utanen substations will be modernised. A new, around 45-kilometre-long transmission line will be built between Pyhänselkä and Nuojua. 

  • The first substation of the main grid, in Imatra, is an important component of the grid in South Karelia. The substation serves the local hydropower plants and industries, and is the starting point of a cross-border transmission connection to Russia. The modernisation of the Imatra substation, originally built in 1929, will be completed in 2020. 

  • The planning of Fingrid’s first digital substation pilot project, at the Pernoonkoski substation, close to Kotka, has been started. The aim is to create a digitalised substation that is compact, safe, environmentally sustainable, remote controlled and provides cost effectiveness both in terms of capex and operational costs.

  • In order to secure the Helsinki region’s electricity supply, the City of Helsinki, the region’s distribution network company Helen Sähköverkko and Fingrid are jointly planning an infrastructure project to serve the Helsinki region’s electricity supply and facilitate land use. Fingrid is preparing to build a new 400-kilovolt cable link from Länsisalmi to Viikinmäki, with plans to have it up and running as soon as the mid 2020s.

One of Fingrid’s long-term goals is to improve the safety culture at work sites and in this way achieve its zero accident objective. In 2018, Fingrid’s own personnel had no workplace accidents resulting in absence from work (2). A total of 4 (9) lost-time accidents were recorded among Fingrid’s service providers. None of the lost-time accidents resulted in an absence of more than 30 days. The suppliers’ and Fingrid’s combined accident frequency rate decreased significantly from the previous year, to 3.2 (8.5).