Together with Suorva, Ritsem and Vietas, Seitevare was notorious amongst construction workers for its freezing temperatures. Temperatures in Seitevare can plummet during the winter. In some areas, the ground can be frozen up to 3-4 metres down. The winter of 1962, when construction work began, was no exception. Temperatures of minus 40 degrees celsius were not uncommon, and face masks to protect against the cold were standard issue for those working on the site.
Construction of the power plant
The power plant was built 175 metres below ground level and has a head of 182 metres. The original plan was to equip the power plant with two units, but the installation of a single record-breaking turbine enabled a capacity of 225 MW to be achieved. The use of a water-cooled generator reduced both weight and volume and improved efficiency. However, water-cooling led to repeated disruptions in operations and, between 1982 and 1984, the generator was converted to air-cooling.
About the Luleälv river
Hydro power is a reliable, safe and renewable source of energy. Almost half of Sweden's total electricity requirement is currently supplied by hydro power. The Luleälv river, on which Seitevare is situated, is Vattenfall's and Sweden's most important river in terms of hydro power generation.