Ahead of the game

When 600 champions meet to compete in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, air compressors from Atlas Copco play a vital role.

The mountain village of Åre in northern Sweden is known to be the alpine center of Scandinavia. In February 2019, more than 600 professional skiers from 77 nations will meet at the Skistar resort in Åre for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, and compete for medals in Downhill, Slalom, Giant slalom, Super-G, Team Event and Alpine combined.

And the competitive spirit goes beyond the races. Surrounded by delicate nature, the event has a clear environmental focus and the ambition to be the most sustainable alpine world ski championship ever held. This includes waste minimization and high energy efficiency.

The alpine center of Scandinavia

Photo: Jonas Kullman

During the entire event, about 1 500 000 m3 of snow needs to be artificially produced, and this is where Atlas Copco’s compressors come in. A set of highly reliable and energy efficient ZR/ZT screw compressors combined with smaller piston snow guns turn water into snow of optimal texture and quality, to prepare and refresh the slopes. The air pressure system is completely oil free with zero oil contamination to the surrounding nature, which was a firm requirement from the organizer.

The resort hosts many other competitions throughout the season, and is one of the most popular destinations for regular skiers and families. This means that the compressors must perform continuously for months in the cold winter climate. To avoid downtime and sustain reliability, all machines are taken care of under a total responsibility plan. Skilled service technicians from Atlas Copco are located nearby, ready to help out at short notice. The equipment stays in the arena all year, and is emptied of water and shut down every spring. Come fall, the service staff prepares the compressors and make sure they are ready for yet another season of both fun and fierce competition.