A copper and zinc mine has been operating in Pyhäjärvi, located in the Oulu Region in Finland, since the 1960s. The mine is Europe’s deepest. It will stop operating at the end of 2019, but afterwards, the facilities will be available for entirely new purposes. Sweco will implement both the underground and the above-ground zoning of the new Callio Pyhäjärvi area, which is up to 1,445 metres deep.
The 1.5-kilometre deep mine would be the size of five Eiffel Towers if placed above the ground, and the depth is what makes Callio Pyhäjärvi a unique zoning project, even on a global scale.
“We need to consider three dimensions when taking space reservations since the depth is involved, as well,” says Iikka Ranta, Sweco’s zoning architect. “Essentially, this is like zoning any corporate area, save for the 10-kilometre serpentine road that goes through the mine vertically, meaning that the space reservations are imbricated and on top of each other on different levels of depth.”
The basic idea of Callio is based on sustainable development, and the future operations in the area also follow the same ideology. The temperature varies naturally on different levels, meaning that the conditions on specific levels are optimal for purposes such as equipment testing, product development or plant production. The summery and pleasant temperature of 20 degrees Celsius is also suitable for the storage and ripening of various products.
“We have space reservations all the way from a depth of 75 metres down to 1,400 metres. In addition, the areas are a hectare in size, laterally measured,” says Henrik Kiviniemi, the Town Manager of Pyhäjärvi. “The Pyhäsalmi Mine is already being used for testing mining machinery and equipment, and we have also been testing how the stable conditions and the geothermal heat could be used in plant production. Our newest projects include fish and crustacean culture and raising crickets for food. We are also looking into biofuel terminals.”
Callio also needs large-scale operations so that the enormous spaces can be fully utilised. The most suitable options for this are, among others, an underground datacentre or energy storage using pumped energy (PPHES). The energy storage of the mine consists of an upper and lower basin, and during low energy demand, water is pumped from the lower storage to the upper storage. Electricity is generated by running water into the lower basin when demand is high and energy production is low. This way, the energy storage can respond to changes in demand, and overproduced electricity can be stored to wait for peak consumption.
Zoning helps illustrate the various operations in the future corporate area depth-wise on several levels. In addition, zoning is also used to ensure safety in the underground location where oxygen supply and water removal depend on functional technology.
“Zoning is vital for rescue operations,” Ranta states. “In case of a fire, people will follow the rescue plan, which requires clear exit and entry routes. The area reservations of the zoning plan also consider the safety zones and distances since the forces and masses that are in effect underground are quite exceptional.”
“Callio has functional mining infrastructure, such as a railway to the mining area and an underground diagonal road that can be driven on with a full-sized truck,” Kiviniemi says. “Pyhäjärvi also offers 60 years of mining expertise, which is absolutely necessary for the permit processes and the repurposing plan for the infrastructure.”
Sweco has completed several successful projects with the City of Pyhäjärvi in the past.
“We want Sweco involved in the zoning of Callio because the zoning requires high-level expertise and various specialist analyses from several fields,” Kiviniemi says. “We also wanted to make sure that all expertise required for the zoning could be found within the same organisation, since the project needs to proceed rapidly within a specific window. In addition to the plans, we also need visual materials to support the marketing of Callio, so we have created brand new procedures and standards with Sweco.”
Repurposing the Pyhäsalmi Mine is an important project both for the town of Pyhäjärvi and on a wider scale. Around the world, old mines are constantly being closed down.
“We are different from the other towns in the area because of our history in industry,” Kiviniemi says. “According to a study made in the University of Jyväskylä, the mine is responsible for 400 jobs in the town, which will need to be replaced in the future. Callio has attracted attention and sparked discussions both locally and internationally as this is the first time that the existing infrastructure of a mining area is being repurposed on such a scale.”
Inquiries:Mr Henrik KiviniemiTown manager, PyhäjärviMobile: +358 44 4457 701Email: henrik.kiviniemi(at)pyhajarvi.fi Mr Iikka RantaZoning architecht, SwecoMobile: +358 40 7631 061Email: iikka.ranta(at)sweco.fi
Callio Pyhäjärvi is a globally unique multidisciplinary operating environment. It offers a diverse range of opportunities for success for new and innovative projects and established operators seeking new horizons alike, as well as for training and R&D. Callio is located in the Pyhäsalmi Mine, 1,445 metres underground, and the surrounding areas. The facilities of Callio are located in one of the deepest known places in Europe. When mining activities end, Callio will provide businesses with a unique, safe and stable – even when measured against the most stringent global indicators – environment to start or expand successful business. The unique nature of the operating environment will be a valuable asset to businesses located at Callio. For training and R&D, Callio offers an underground laboratory and testing environment that cannot be found anywhere else. In fact, the infrastructure of Callio has already been used for versatile research for dozens of years. The facilities also allow for extensive experiments.
Town Pyhäjärvi is situated in the middle of Finland, 450 km north of Helsinki, and within close distance from collaborating universities – University of Oulu (160 km), University of Eastern Finland (150 km), University of Jyväskylä (180 km). The town, which have 5 500 inhabitants, is named after lake Pyhäjärvi, a lake of 125 square kilometers and rich in fish. Pyhäjärvi is well situated in an intersection of transport services. The town is in the junction of highways E75 and 27. There are five airports within two hours’ drive, with international airport of Oulu being second most serviced in Finland. The railway connections are excellent. Heavy/large components and bulk materials can be easily railed to the site.
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