AbstraktiPower from the River Vuoksi
In the history of the River Vuoksi a most interesting period has been the construction of power plants. The potential power of the river was the primary reason for the interest of the industrial sector. Ownership questions as well as new technological solutions, of which the longdistance transfer of electricity was the most important, were central issues. The harnessing of Vuoksi also touched Finland’s national development: even though Finland was an autonomous part of the Russian empire, the Finns were not ready to transfer the possession of their rapids to the Russians or other foreign investors or industrial tycoons. A new era came with the independence of Finland, as the new country wanted to be autarchic regarding electric supply. Among the rapids of Vuoksi, Imatra rose to a central role in the plans of the government. During 1900–1944 five power plants were constructed along the river Vuoksi, but one of them (the Linnankoski plant) was submerged when the water level was elevated after the construction of the Imatra plant. In 1937, the capacity of the Vuoksi power plants was 347 000 kW in all. Still today, these four power plants are in operation. Two of them, Imatra and Tainionkoski, are owned by Fortum (former Imatran Voima). The power plants of Svetogorsk (Enso) and Lesogorsk (Rouhiala) are situated in the Russian side of the border. The maximal capacity of the Vuoksi power plants in all is 432 MW. It is interesting to note that the construction of the power plants of Vuoksi seems to have been, according to references, a process that has been practically without dissonance, advocationg strongly industrialization and progress, even though the harnessing of Vuoksi ruined its untouched rapids.