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Rautarouva gets a new lease on life

Modernisation of the Rautarouva (Iron Lady) line, which is the oldest section of Finland’s main grid, is nearing completion. Work to renew the 82-kilometre Koria-Ylilikkälä power line is currently in progress. The 110-kilovolt power line is being dismantled and replaced with a new 400-kilovolt line.
Worksite supervisor Ossi Muuronen (left) and Safety Supervisor Jaakko Hämäläinen from the main contractor Vattenfall are checking occupationa l safety matters at the transmission line worksite in the Kiehuva district of Kouvola.

Fingrid’s worksite supervisor Ossi Muuronen monitors the worksite, which is located in the municipalities of Kouvola, Luumäki and Lappeenranta, on a regular basis to ensure that the quality of work is appropriate and employees comply with the agreed regulations and safety matters.

“Foundation work, tower assembly and erection, conductor installation and final cleaning and earthing have progressed as planned for each section. The project began in March and we should have 50 towers completed by September,” says Muuronen.

When this interview was conducted in June, one fifth of the work had been completed and construction work on 200 towers still lay ahead. The project is scheduled for completion at the end of 2018.

Safety supervisor Jaakko Hämäläinen from the main contractor Vattenfall Services Nordic Oy is making an inspection visit to ensure that the subcontractors are using proper equipment. He will submit a monitoring report via the NordSafety system. He says that the Koria-Ylikkälä contract is a demanding project.

“We have to be very careful during the dismantling work and when installing conductors because we’re going right through an urban area. We need lots of eyes and hands for observation. It’s also important to ensure that we don’t cause any long outages.

The project can involve employees from up to 50 subcontractors working at the same time. According to Hämäläinen, Fingrid’s online training is a big help when running occupational safety training sessions.

“It reinforces our own induction and means that the training is not only our responsibility.”

Built in the 1920s, Rautarouva is the first power line commissioned by the State of Finland. So far, Fingrid has renewed around 300 kilometres of the oldest section of Finland’s main grid, and the rest will be finished by 2020. The total costs of the renewal are approximately 135 million euros.