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Luleälv (lüˈləĕlvˈ) [key], river, c.275 mi (440 km) long, rising near the Norwegian border, Norrbotten prov., N Sweden, and flowing SE to the Gulf of Bothnia at Luleå. It has spectacular falls at Stora Sjöfallet, Porjus, and Harsprånget. Great power plants constructed at Porjus (1910–14) and at Harsprånget (1945–52)—the latter, with a 350,000-kW capacity, is one of Europe's largest—have harnessed much of the river's potential power, and have impounded huge lakes. Power from Porjus operates many industries in N Sweden, especially the iron mines at Kiruna and Gällivare. Power is transported by high tension wires from Harsprånget to Hallsberg in central Sweden.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian Physical Geography

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