'Icelandic Alloys/ELKEM' Tag Archive

Aug 30 2011
2 Comments

More Industry in Hvalfjörður Brings More Abuse of Power


A broad general reconciliation on environmental and industrial affairs in Hvalfjörður has been completely ignored and stepped on by the Associated Icelandic Ports under the administration of a member of the social-democratic party Samfylkingin. This says Sigurbjörn Hjaltason, farmer in Hvalfjörður, who recently called for an investigation into the possible connection between bone deformities in his sheep’s skulls and an environmental accident at the Norðurál aluminium smelter in Grundartangi in 2006. Sigurbjörn has now raised awareness to yet another potential ecological disaster in Hvalfjörður – a fjord which already hosts two highly polluting factories: an aluminium smelter owned by Norðurál/Century Aluminium and an Elkem ferro silicon plant – as well as the abuse of power entailed in the process.

In a recent article, originally published on news-website Pressan, Sigurbjörn says that before the municipal elections in spring 2009, the community in Hvalfjörður settled upon an agreement about environmental and industrial affairs. But under the administration of Hjálmar Sveinsson (on photo), who is a vice-councilman of Reykjavík for Samfylkingin, a joint venture of several port authorities in the Faxaflói area, titled the Associated Icelandic Ports, is enabling the way for the construction of yet another two factories at the Grundatangi industrial site in Hvalfjörður, where the two aforementioned factories are located. Sigurbjörn describes the whole process as a very dubious one: Read More

Aug 11 2008

Injured Century and Elkem Workers Forced Back to Work


According to the workers union of Akranes it is standard procedure that Century Aluminum – Norðurál and Elkem-Icelandic Alloys at Hvalfjordur push injured workers to come back to work as soon as possible. They do it quite roughly, even though the workers have medical papers proving that they are not able to work at all, MBL.is reports. Read More

Aug 10 2008
4 Comments

The Camp is Over – The Fight Goes on


Saving Iceland’s fourth action camp is now over but the fight goes on. This year we stayed on Hellisheiði for three weeks, where Reykjavík Energy is expanding their geothermal power plant, first of all to supply energy to aluminium smelters. We enjoyed the summer in this amazing environment which is now in danger because of the construction. This summer we put a special focus on the global impact of aluminium production, how it is does not only effect Iceland, but the whole world; it’s environment, humans and other species. Read More

Jul 21 2008
5 Comments

Saving Iceland Blockades Century Aluminum Smelter and Elkem Steel Factory


GRUNDARTANGI – A short while ago 20 activists from Saving Iceland blockaded the single supply road to Century Aluminum’s smelter on Hvalfjordur and Elkem – Icelandic Alloys steel factory. They have chained themselves to each other using arm tubes to form a human blockade as well as using tripod for the first time in Icelandic history. “We protest the environmental and human health hazards Century’s bauxite mining and refining activities in Jamaica, their plans for a new smelter and refinery in West Congo. Both Century’s and Elkem’s expansion plans will also mean destruction of unique geothermal areas in Iceland and produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Miriam Rose of Saving Iceland (1).

UPDATE: The blockade went on for three hours. Nobody was arrested. Read More

Sep 15 2007

Alcoa and Elkem finish Reydarfjordur’s anode plant


September 11th, 2007

News from the blog of Satan. The repetition of Alcoa’s constant claims at being environmentally friendly only empower our hatred of them. We know that if they didn’t have so much guilt to hide they wouldn’t need to regurgitate their practically messianic image in every single text they vomit. Would you believe a man stalking you at night when he keeps shouting “I’M NOT GOING TO HURT YOU!” or would you take that as further reason to get the hell away or beat him up until the monster’s out for the count?

Alcoa’s greed makes the world bleed.

Alcoa Opens New Anode Plant in Norway to Serve Fjardaal and Mosjoen Smelters

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced that it has opened a new 280,000 metric ton per year anode plant in Mosjoen, Norway. The facility will produce anodes for Alcoa’s Fjardaal aluminum smelter in Iceland [ie: Alcoa’s Reydarfjordur smelter] and the Mosjoen aluminum smelter in Norway. Alcoa built the facility with managing partner Elkem Aluminium ANS, which has a 36% share in the Mosjoen anode plant. Alcoa owns 50% of the partnership Elkem Aluminium ANS, which operates aluminum smelters in Mosjoen and Lista, Norway.

Anodes are the electrodes toward which current flows during the smelting process of making aluminum. Anodes from the new plant have already been delivered to the Mosjoen smelter and the first shipments to Fjardaal are expected to start this month.

“This new plant was completed on time and safely and it is one of the world’s largest and most environmentally friendly facilities of its type,” said Bernt Reitan, Executive Vice President of Alcoa and Group President, Global Primary Products, who attended the event. “This facility will enable us to continue to reduce production costs and maintain our competitiveness in the marketplace.”

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg participated in an inauguration ceremony held on August 30.

Alcoa in Norway

Alcoa established a presence in Norway through a 1962 partnership with Elkem ASA. Today, Elkem Aluminium NS, the partnership owned 50/50 by Orkla and Alcoa, operates smelters in Mosjøen and Lista and supply the European aluminum market. Alcoa’s automotive casting operation in Lista, established in 1995, produces wheel suspension components for leading European automakers.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa’s businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, structures and building systems. The company has 116,000 employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com

Sep 03 2007

Defending the Wild in the Land of Fire and Ice – Saving Iceland Takes Action


Jaap Krater
Earth First Journal
3 August, 2007

Summer of Resistance in Iceland – an overview

This year, Iceland saw its third Summer of direct action against heavy industry and large dams. In a much-disputed master plan, all the glacial rivers and geothermal potential of Europe’s largest wilderness would be harnessed for aluminum production (see EF!J May-June 2006). Activists from around the world have gathered to protect Europe’s largest remaining wilderness and oppose aluminum corporations.
Read More

Aug 01 2007
3 Comments

So Close! Power Surge Almost Destroys Every Aluminium Factory in Iceland!


7 August 2007

power lines

Today lovers of nature almost danced on the graves of ALCOA, ALCAN, Century and Elkem when a mysterious power “thump” in the national grid managed to knock out power to all their factories!

At around 3pm today a power surge which originated from around the Hvalfjordur region (where Century and Elkem run their aluminium-cancer and alloys factories), created such a surge that all power to the west, north and east of Iceland was brought down, even Reykjavik’s for a split second. Energy was not restored to the heavy industry factories for a number of hours. Unfortunately, whilst we were counting the minutes these factories were offline, we are told that the pots of molten aluminium did not cool down enough to destroy them entirely.
Read More

Jul 22 2007
1 Comment

Elkem’s Icelandic Alloys Year Round “Human Errors”


Elkem

The Icelandic media reports today that Icelandic Alloys (Elkem) “accidentally” released a huge cloud of pollution from their plant at Grundartangi in Hvalfjordur. Apparently the accident was due to human error. The media quote Thordur Magnusson, an Elkem spokesman, saying that this human error “…recurs several times a week.”

Sigurbjorn Hjaltason, Chairman of the local Kjosarhreppur parish, confirms that Elkem usually produce the emissions during nights, when suitable, throughout the year. This is so that people will be less likely to become aware of the pollution they have to breath.

Similar nocturnal habits of ALCAN – Rio Tinto and Century – Rusal have been reported for years by the people of Hafnarfjordur and Hvalfjordur.

ALCAN – Rio Tinto, Century and Elkem seem to share the same conveniently systematic “human errors.”

Are we perhaps to expect that soon the PR departments of these three companies will be offering the population of South-West Iceland free sleeping pills to help them through their dark nights of heavy industry?

Jul 18 2007

Saving Iceland Blockade Century and ELKEM Factories


Century smelterPress Release

GRUNDARTANGI – Saving Iceland has this afternoon closed the single supply road from Highway 1 to the Century/Nordural smelter in Hvalfjordur and the steel factory Elkem – Icelandic Alloys. Saving Iceland opposes the planned new Century smelter at Helguvik and the expansion of the Icelandic Alloys factory. Activists have used lock-ons (metal arm tubes) to form a human blockade on the road and have occupied a construction site crane.

Century Aluminum, a part of the recently formed Russian-Swiss RUSAL/ Glencore/SUAL conglomorate, want to build a second smelter in Iceland in Helguvik with a projected capacity of at least 250.000 metric tons per annum. The planned site is designed to accommodate further expansion. Grundartangi has this year been extended to 260.000 mtpa.

Currently, an environmental impact assessment (1) is under review for the Helguvik smelter, produced by the construction consultants HRV (Honnun/Rafhonnun/VST).

“It is absurd that an engineering company with a vested interest in the smelter construction could be considered to produce an objective impact assessment. The document makes absurd claims, such as that pollution is really not a problem because Helguvik is such a windy place that the pollution will just blow away,” says Saving Iceland’s Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson.”

“This smelter will demand new geothermal power plants at Seltún, Sandfell, Austurengjar and Trölladyngju. In addition to the Hengill area which has already been seriously damaged by Reykjavik Energy. The impact assessment does not take these into account, nor the impact of the huge amount of power lines and pylons required. The plants will ruin the natural and scenic value of the whole peninsula. Also, the recquired capacity, 400 MW, exceeds the natural capactity of the geothermal spots, and they will cool down in three to four decades (2). And Century admits it wants the site to expand further in the next decades. So it is obvious that this smelter will not just ruin Reykjanes but also need additional hydropower.”

The impact procedure seems to be completely irrelevant anyway, since the company has completed an equity offering worth $360 million to be deployed for partly financing the construction of the Helguvik smelter project (3). This indicates that Century already has high level assurances that the project is to continue no matter what.

This completely contradicts the claims the new government of Iceland, and particularly it’s environment minister Þórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, is opposed to new smelter projects.

Icelandic Alloys wants to expand its facility for producing ferrosilicon for the steel industry. It is in fact one of Iceland’s largest contributors to greenhouse gases and other pollutants (4).

“Expansion of Icelandic Alloys and Century considerably contribute to Iceland’s greenhouse emissions. If there are no further expansions of heavy industry beyond Grundartangi and ALCOA Fjardaal, Iceland will emit 38% more greenhouse gases than in 1990. If other expansion plans continue, levels would rise to an incredible 63% above 1990 levels. (5). That is completely irresponsible.

This shows that all the talk about ‘green energy’ from hydro and geothermal is, in reality, a lie. Icelanders have to rise up against these foreign corporations,” says Úlfhildarson. Read More

Náttúruvaktin