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The industrial settlement Bjørsvik
As early as 1906 the Matre and Haugsdal waterway was bought up by the businessman Blauuw from Bergen; the first “waterfall speculator” in the Matre area. He immediately resold it to Fr. Hiorth, who transferred all the rights to the company Matrefaldene in 1908. Behind A/S Matrefaldene were German interests, Badische Anilin und Sodafabrik, which wanted to start production of saltpetre fertilizer with nitrogen and electricity.
In 1923 Bergenshalvøens Kommunale Kraftselskap (BKK) expropriated large areas for power plants and development of hydropower started soon afterwards. Dale power station with the two first aggregates, each of 14 MW was put into operation on 17 November 1927. In the supply reservoir in Storefossen 5152 cubic metres of concrete were cast, and a modern and well-equipped power station was built.
Water discharge at the outlet of the Ekso into Eidsfjord was halved after the big hydropower development in the mountainous area between Modalen and Eksingedalen and further southward toward Evanger in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. In an attempt to amend the changed environmental conditions in the waterway the developer built 35 small dams in the river.