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Company Launches Environmental Impact Study on Plant

An environmental impact study on the controversial construction of the Kollaja reservoir and plant begins this week. Pohjolan Voima, a group of companies in the energy sector, hopes to build a 50 square kilometre reservoir at the Iijoki River in the town of Pudasjärvi. The new power plant would help regulate the reservoir. Economic and environmental construction preconditions are to be determined in the study, and a report is scheduled to be ready by the end of next year. About 115 megawatts of auxiliary power and 200 gigawatt-hours of additional energy would be produced annually. Kollaja would be the sixth hydropower plant at the Iijoki River. However, building the plant would require a change in legislation. Conservation Association Opposes Project According to the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, a permit to build the Kollaja reservoir cannot be granted, because the project would violate the Act on the Protection of the Rapids in Rivers. The head of the organisation Tapani Veistola said the reservoir would only supply a small fraction of Finland's annual electricity consumption. He said it would threaten the Iijoki River and could also damage protected marshes. The Association added that marshes under reservoirs produce methane, which is a harmful greenhouse gas. YLE

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