Wednesday, August 28, 2013
UPM and KSS Energia will build a protective wall into the incoming water canal at Verla hydropower plant to protect Verla Mill Museum from leaks and flooding. Inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1996, Verla groundwood and board mill has suffered from problems caused by water and dampness.
“The east side of the groundwood mill museum directly borders the power plant’s incoming water canal. Water seeps through the wall to the museum’s ground floor from several places. In previous winters, leaking water has resulted in thick layers of ice inside the mill. The constant dampness threatens the preservation of the mill and its machines and equipment,” explains Ville Majuri, director of the Verla Mill Museum.
“The protective wall will not be attached to the mill so that it is possible to repair and maintain the historical structures now and in the future. This way, the wall will help to preserve the world heritage site and also improve safety in the site without reducing hydropower production conditions. Moreover, the protective wall will provide preconditions for developing tourism and for the year-round use of the site,” Ville Majuri notes.
“UPM’s predecessor, Kymmene Oy Ltd, constructed the Verla power plant in 1954. Kymmene Oy Ltd sold the power plant to KSS Energia in 1989. At the moment, KSS Energia is undertaking extensive reconstruction work at the Verla hydropower plant. The work includes replacing the main machinery. Therefore, it was sensible to combine the two projects and to build the protective wall now,” says Markku Tommiska, the production director of KSS Energia.
In April 2013, the Ministry of Education and Culture granted an allowance of EUR 140,000 for the project. The National Board of Antiquities favours the protective wall project and regards it as an extremely important step in preserving the site for future generations.