Creosote is used to impregnate the wood in the foundations that Svenska kraftnät uses to stabilize the pylons that carry the power lines. Creosote impregnation protects the wood from being attacked by rot and insect pests.
Svenska kraftnät has considered all available options for pylon foundations, and we have found that creosote impregnated timber has little impact from an environmental point of view.
The reason is sustainability. Our large pylons are to stand firmly for at least 50 years and impregnated timber foundations is a very durable material. Investigations have shown that the alternatives, such as concrete and steel, together lead to greater emissions of polluting substances and a greater overall negative environmental impact. Among other things, they require more energy and heavier transport, and new roads near power lines.
Svenska kraftnät's use of creosote-treated wood for power lines is approved. In 2014 the case was also examined by the Land and Environment Court who established that the use is not contrary to Swedish law or EU legislation.
Other types of foundations are used when applicable, for example steel and concrete foundations.