PVO-Vesivoima – Changes in Water Law Obligations

We are advising PVO-Vesivoima Oy in a process involving changes to the company’s fishery obligations under water law. The process was initiated by an application submitted by the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) concerning the obligations of the company’s hydropower plants located in the Iijoki River. We are assisting the company in responding to the ELY Centre’s application.

The process is a significant precedent in Finnish water law. If the ELY Centre’s application is approved as is, the company would incur heavy additional costs and the use of the plants to produce regulating energy would be severely restricted. The Iijoki River is one of Finland’s most significant rivers that has been harnessed for the production of electricity. Hydropower from large rivers is a major form of regulating energy production in Finland. Hydropower is domestic and in practice emissions-free. The approval of the application would have a major negative impact on the possibility to produce hydropower on the Iijoki River and, thus, on the functioning of the Finnish electrical system, security of supply and climate change mitigation.