Hydropower potentials in the project
Originally, five different potential hydropower reserves between Nuup Kangerlua (Nuuk Fjord) and Kangerlussuaq were considered as possible sources of energy for the aluminum project.
Two of these five potentials were excluded prior to the commencement of the first phase of the engineering studies in 2007, however. The three most promising hydropower potentials were then assessed in greater depth in order to ensure that there was a total potential output power of 600-750 MW available for the aluminum plant. These sites were Tarsartuup Tasersua, Søndre Isortup Isua and Tasersiaq.
Based on the engineering data, outline plans were drawn up for the project, including dams, tunnels, channels, roads and transmission lines. The available energy for each of the three potentials was estimated on the basis of the results of the hydrological surveys and the field studies carried out.
The surveys concerning Søndre Isortup Isua were suspended prior to the field season in 2008. There were three reasons for this:
- The other two sites were deemed to be sufficient in combination to provide the required energy for the aluminum plant.
- The historical data material for Søndre Isortup Isua is of poorer quality than the data for the other two sites, which makes estimates of the size of the potential more uncertain.
- Søndre Isortup Isua's problematic geography and remote location mean that even without more detailed studies it was possible to conclude that construction costs would be too high.
The hydropower surveys in 2008 and 2009 have therefore concentrated exclusively on the two sites at Tarsartuup Tasersua and Tasersiaq, as well as the possible transmission routes from the hydroelectric power plants to Maniitsoq.