Orkla chief executive Dag J Opedal placed the facility in an industrial history perspective, while locals were also given a tour when the rock cavern was opened for a second day.
“We need more green energy in the future, both to overcome global climate challenges and to meet Norway’s energy needs,” said Mr Riis-Johansen.
“This is an important project, which has a significance far beyond Sauda and its surrounding Rogaland country. I wish it welcome.”
Hydropower has been crucial in the development of Norwegian prosperity and for the creation of the Orkla group as it is today, Mr Opedal observed.
“The Sauda project is perhaps one of the last big hydropower developments in Norway, and probably one with the smallest environmental impact.”
A gala atmosphere prevailed when guests arrived by boat to celebrate the inauguration of the Sauda power stations – sun, smiling people and many congratulations.
This project was also worthy of celebration. With a total output of 1 850 gigawatt-hours, including 650 GWh of additional energy – corresponding to a fifth of Oslo’s power consumption – the investment has totalled NOK 2.1 billion.
Guests were carried by coach for one kilometre underground to a suitably decorated rock cavern, with historical films and new pictures brightening up the walls on the way in.
Everyone was welcomed to the inauguration by the chair of power company Elkem Saudefaldene and the senior vice president for public affairs.
After Mr Lind-Johansen’s performance, guests were taken on a guided tour before the rest of the celebrations began.
Personnel in Elkem Saudefaldene could relax after a well-organised event once the guests had left the rock cavern. The subsequent open day attracted 300 locals