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Vargfors Power Station is situated on the Skellefte Älv River, about 90 kilometres upstream of the estuary. The power station was built in two stages; the first was commissioned in 1961 and the second in 1987.

Unique dam

The dam of the Vargfors facility is unique as it is arched and made out of concrete. There are only a few dams of this type in Sweden. The facility is situated 25 metres below ground level with a head (drop) of 49.5 metres. Vargfors was not constructed by Vattenfall; instead most of the construction work was outsourced.

In 2009, the facility underwent refurbishment to extend its lifespan and optimise its production economy, as well as to take greater care of the external environment and make the working environment better and safer. Some of the measures taken were to thoroughly modify the old turbine, fitting it with a new impeller and several other features. The oil-filled wheel hub of the impeller was replaced with a water-filled one. Measures were also implemented to reduce the use of oil-lubricated bearings, replacing them with a water-lubricated kind. All of these efforts reduced the use of oil, minimising potential environmental impact. In connection with these installations, the direct current system was replaced, leading to even better reliability and operational safety at the facility. The aim of the refurbishment is to extend the expected lifespan by 40 years for the turbine and by around 15 years for the generator.