'Bechtel' Tag Archive

Oct 14 2010
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Bending All the Rules, Just for Alcoa


Following is a short clip from the documentary ‘Dreamland’, made by Andri Snær Magnason and Þorfinnur Guðnason in 2009. Here you can see Friðrik Sóphusson, then head of Landsvirkjun (Icelandic Power Company), telling the American ambassador in Iceland how they are “bending all the rules, just for this” referring to the Alcoa project in Reyðarfjörður.

Feb 09 2009

Iceland’s Ecological Crisis: Large Scale Renewable Energy and Wilderness Destruction


From New Renaissance Magazine

By Miriam Rose

The economic issues currently causing mass demonstrations in Iceland have a less publicised ecological cousin, and one which the IMF has recently identified as part of the economic collapse. In 1995 the Ministry of Industry and Landsvirkjun, the national power company, began to advertise Iceland’s huge hydropower and geothermal energy potential. In a brochure titled “Lowest energy prices!!” they offered the cheapest, most hard working and healthiest labour force in the world, the cleanest air and purest water – as well as the cheapest energy and “a minimum of environmental red tape” to some of the world’s most well known polluting industries and corporations (such as Rio Tinto and Alcoa). This campaigning has led to the development of an ‘Energy Master Plan’ aimed at damming almost all of the major glacial rivers in Iceland, and exploiting all of the geothermal energy, for the power intensive aluminium industry. The loans taken by the Icelandic state to build large scale energy projects, and the minimal payback they have received from the industry, has been a considerable contributing factor to the economic crisis, while at the same time creating a European ecological crisis that is little heard of.

The Largest Wilderness in Europe
I first visited Iceland in 2006 and spent a week with activists from the environmental campaign Saving Iceland, a network of individuals from around Europe and Iceland who decry the fragmentation of Europe’s largest wilderness in favour of heavy industry. From these informed and passionate folk I learned of the 690 MW Kárahnjúkar dam complex being built in the untouched Eastern Central Highlands to power one Alcoa aluminium smelter in a small fishing village called Reydarfjörður. The dams formed the largest hydro-power complex in Europe, and were set to drown 57 km2 of beautiful and virtually unstudied wilderness, the most fertile area in the surrounding highlands. Ultimately it would affect 3% of Iceland’s landmass with soil erosion and river silt deprivation. They also explained how materials in the glacial silt transported to the oceans bonds with atmospheric CO2, sinking carbon. The damming of Iceland’s glacial rivers not only decreases food supply for fish stocks in the North Atlantic, but also negatively impacts oceanic carbon absorption, a significant climatic effect. After taking part in demonstrations at the construction site of the Alcoa smelter (being built by famous Iraq war profiteers Bechtel), I went to see the area for myself. Read More

Dec 25 2007
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‘The Age of Aluminum’ by Mimi Sheller


Atilla Lerato Sheller
Activists Attilah Springer (left) and Lerato Maria
Maregele (center). SI conference July ’07.

Mimi Sheller is a visiting associate professor in the sociology and anthropology department at Swarthmore College. She attended the Saving Iceland conference in 2007.

I grew up in an aluminum-sided suburban house. I carried a colorful aluminum lunchbox to school, with a sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil. Like everyone I know, I drink from aluminum cans, travel in cars, planes, and bikes full of aluminum parts, and cook in aluminum pots and pans. This versatile, ubiquitous material is all around us, all the time, but seems almost invisible because it has become, literally, part of the furniture (even the kitchen sink). The surprising story of this mercurial metallic fabric of everyday life – in our homes, skyscrapers, cars, airplanes, utensils, fasteners, cosmetics, space ships, and bombs – encapsulates the making of global modernity, the creation of multinational corporations, the rise of the U.S. as a world power, the modernization of warfare, and the invention of suburbia, science-fiction futurism, and the American Dream.
Read More

Jul 09 2007
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SUMMER OF INTERNATIONAL DISSENT AGAINST HEAVY INDUSTRY


Hreindyr

Hálslón, Kárahnjúkar, October 2006

A summer of International dissent and action against Heavy Industry – swarming around Iceland from the 6th of July 2007

Updated July 10th. The campaign to defend Europe’s vastest remaining wilderness continues. After the direct action camps in Iceland’s mountain highlands in the summers of 2005 and 2006 against the Kárahnjúkar dam and ALCOA’s Reydarfjordur aluminium smelter, the Saving Iceland campaign moves on to bring Iceland’s aluminium Heavy Industrialisation to a halt.

New plans for dams, power plants, aluminium smelters and other forms of heavy industry need to be stopped. The culprits include corporations such as ALCOA, ALCAN, Century Aluminum, Hydro, Rusal, Impregilo, Bechtel, Barclays, Mott McDonald, etc… Iceland, with it’s vast geothermal and megahydro possibilities, is a new frontier for cheap energy craving industrial moguls who see nothing worth saving in Iceland’s legendary wilderness.

This camp will bring together activists from all over the world, including activists from social movements in India, South America, Africa, Europe and North America. Stopping the industrialisation and ecological destruction of the last unspoilt country in the west would be a major victory for the green movement and a new incentive for a global movement against industrialisation and ecocide. Join us. Read More

Apr 23 2007

Reuters: Aluminium smelters generate hot debate in Iceland


By Sarah Edmonds
Mon Apr 23, 2007

REYDARFJORDAR, Iceland (Reuters) – Iceland’s biggest and newest aluminium smelter, Alcoa Fjardaal, pumped out its first hot metal at the weekend, riling critics who fear it will damage the environment.

The balance between environmental and economic tradeoffs for Iceland’s three existing and three planned smelters have become a major issue in the lead-up to May 12 elections.

On one side are those who fear unchecked industrial growth will harm the land and economy.

On the other are those who say Iceland must bring in such projects to make use of its abundant but unexportable power-generating resources, such as its geothermal and hydroelectric potential.

The issue has given rise to a new green party, the Iceland Movement, whose platform has a single plank: big industry development must stop for five years until the effects of projects like Alcoa’s Fjardaal are clear.

Author Andri Snaer Magnason said the construction of smelters like Alcoa’s, and the geothermal and hydroelectric plants that power them, has created a “heroin economy.” Read More

Dec 06 2006

2006 Protest Camp at Snæfell, Kárahnjúkar and Reyðarfjörður


2006 Protest Camp
Snaefell camp 

 

Nov 18 2006

Aluminium Smelter Protesters Climb Cranes On-Site


illegal worksite

Over a dozen protesters of the Reydarfjördur aluminum smelter in east Iceland entered the building site this morning, and two of those have climbed 70-meter high building cranes, on which they have attached banners with slogans. The banner reads “ILLEGAL WORKSITE (ÓLÖGLEGT VINNUSVÆÐI) referring to the judgment of the Icelandic High Court which was still valid at the time of the action. RUV (Icelandic National Broadcast Service) reported that the banner read ‘Illegal Action’. Some would say there was quite a difference there. This was never corrected in spite of promises to do so. How convenient for ALCOA…

 

illegal worksite cu 

Just in case…
Ó-L-Ö-G-L-E-G-T
V-I-N-N-U-S-V-Æ-Ð-I! Read More

Nov 09 2006

Saving Iceland Protests in Spain


Saving Iceland protests in Spain

In Alicante, Spain, where Alcoa owns an aluminium factory, signs denouncing Alcoa’s presence in Iceland have appeared.  Graffiti and banners on the walls of Alcoa’s factory and all over Alicante have been appearing. All over the world people have risen up against the heavy industrial violence against the Icelandic wildernesses.

On the 30th of September there was a public action with people concentrating at the doors of the factory and a hand out of information in the center of Alicante. Read More

Oct 27 2006

Smelter Struggle: Trinidad Fishing Community Fights Aluminum Project


“What you got…..we don’t want,
what you’re selling…..we ain’t buying!
So no matter, how hard you’re trying,
we want no industrial wasteland in our yard”
(Anti-Smelter Warriors Anthem, chorus)

by Sujatha Fernandes, CorpWatch September 6th, 2006

The roads that wander through the southwestern peninsula of Trinidad pass small fishing villages, mangrove swamps, and coconut plantations; they skirt herds of buffalypso and reveal sheltered beach coves. This February, Alcoa signed an agreement in principle with the Trinidad and Tobago Government that threatens to fundamentally alter this gentle landscape. Plans by the Pittsburgh-based manufacturing company to build a large aluminum smelter have sparked criticism from local residents and environmentalists. Read More

Oct 08 2006

Alcoa Receives Bomb Threat


3 October 2006

A bomb threat was received at the Alcoa offices in Reyðarfjörður, east Iceland, just before noon yesterday. According to Erna Indriðadóttir, public relations officer for Alcoa in Iceland, a man called and spoke in English, mentioning a bomb in the premises. Police was called in but nothing was found. No further action was deemed necessary.

 http://www.reykjavik.com/News.aspx?aid=2…