With the power of Pål

We are on a VIP tour with Pål Kasper Gabrielsen who is overseeing the electrical underbelly of the ship called New Kirkenes hospital. As we crawl underneath the building the enormous scale makes us feel like we are in a scene from ‘honey I shrunk the kids’. Very soon access to these areas will be extremely limited and unless you happen to be a pro at fixing OSO boilers or HIMOINSA generators you will have no business here.

With this in mind, Pål’s tour is truly exclusive, like a Japanese gameshow filled with ladders, crawl spaces, obstacles to wriggle under and over, water pools, huge fans, and every now and then we bump into a friendly person clad in fluorescent-gear busying on something semi-incomprehensible.

Pål knows the hospital and Kirkenes like the back of his hand. He was born and raised at Prestøya (just five doors down from Oddbjørn). He has been a football coach for 20 years, worked as a head of the detonations department at the Syd-Varanger Mine, technical manager at Datakortet in Kirkenes, manager of the electrical construction at Melkøya near Hammerfest, and until his blood pressure decided otherwise he worked again at the mine as an electromanager and maintenance director. His jobs have included descending staircases a hundred meter deep into under-sea tunnels in Singapore, projects in Tunisia, England, France the Netherlands, USA etc and to top it all, he is a left-wing politician with a goal of maintaining one of the most positive aspects of the region; the cooperation between nature and people.

What he is most proud of in the New Kirkenes Hospital project is the cooperation between employers from different countries and companies working together. Pål makes a point of starting every day with the idea that everything will be sorted; ‘If you start a conversation thinking that both parties want a good solution, it is very likely to get out of any mess. You also have to respect everyone on every level. Whether you’re cleaning the bathroom or sitting in the boardroom, respect is important.’

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Pål has always loved the industry and enjoys getting his hands dirty, being outside in noise and shouting, talking with people and being in the happening hotpot. We portrayed Pål in the spaghetti his crew was installing all around us. The orange cable is a data cable – category 7A, and will make up the communication infrastructure for the whole hospital. There are also category 5, 6, 6A, 7 and 7A, depending on the speed. 7A is the best. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Riitta is overjoyed for having nearly unlimited resources to work with. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Most of the outlets already have power in them now and the hospital building is becoming different, more fun and a more challenging workplace for Pål. It will be ‘dressed to the nines’ in computer systems, entry systems, telephone systems, watch system, patient signal system etc. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

His colleagues made generous contributions to the electrical scene. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

‘You cannot walk around the porridge’ is one of Pål’s favourite expressions. If you want to stay in business up in Kirkenes you’ll need to talk straight. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Riitta’s rain poncho from Hong Kong came in very handy. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Riitta checking out the culvert for cables and pipes located underneath the whole building. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The crawl space at the New Kirkenes Hospital is unusually high. This is as close to the bedrock as we could get. In a normal house, this is where a raccoon might hold fort. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

This bauhaus assortment of shapes is waiting to be installed right here below the operation theatre and will disinfect the air in the operation room. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The inner workings of how the hospital’s infrastructure is set up is bedazzling and we are having a hard time keeping up with the intricacies of Pål’s adventure trail. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The hospital will be heated entirely by heat exchange with water from the Andrevann lake. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Eyeing up the perfect fit of this blue, shiny zippered, snug jumpsuit water boiler. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Deep down in the bowels we met this guy, busy making valves watertight with hemp and sealing paste. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The energy for the entire hospital arrives through this high voltage cable, with green, purple and yellow earthing cables to top it all off. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Here is the English-made HIMOINSA generator, in the true emergency room of the hospital. This will kick in if all else fails. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Naturally, we cleaned up after ourselves. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

 

 

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