Representatives from Landsvirkjun, the project monitors (VIVJ), designers (KEJV) and the Italian contractors Impregilo were present.
At around midday, Jóhann Kröyer, Landsvirkjun Project Manager for the construction of the tunnel, formally switched on the equipment that lifted the main gate at the intake from Hálslón, and water began streaming out of the reservoir and into the headrace tunnel. Safety gates remain in place to begin with, but they are, in fact, flow controls that allow the water to stream through unhindered into the tunnel.
The headrace tunnel is 40 km long, and according to Sigurdar Arnalds, Landsvirkjun’s Kárahnjúkar spokesman, full pressure should be reached before the end of the month. Electricity generation will begin shortly after that. The eastern part of the tunnel, from Thrælaháls to Valthjófsstadafjall, is already full of surface water that has collected in recent weeks.
During the last few days, the last few access shafts have been closed one by one, with 18 m thick, concrete plugs. The final phase has gone extremely well – much quicker than was hoped – although conditions have been challenging because of heavy rain.
Jóhann Kröyer, Landsvirkjun Project Manager, switching on control equipment to lift the gates to the headrace tunnel.
Gianna Porta, Impregilo General Manager in Iceland, Agnar Olsen, Landsvirkjun Director of Engineering and Construction, and Jóhann Kröyer, Landsvirkjun Project Manager, at the opening of the headrace tunnel gates.