'Privatization' Tag Archive

Aug 18 2010
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Does Man Own Earth?


By Austurengjahver, Krýsuvík, Reykjanes - Photo by Ellert Grétarsson On Magma, Björk, the separation of philosophy and reality, xenophobia, green industry, false solutions, borders, Earth conservation and liberation. By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson and originally published in The Reykjavík Grapvine, August 13th 2010.

There are countless reasons for Magma Energy not being allowed to purchase HS Orka. Those who have no idea why should quit reading this and get their hands on books like Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ and documentaries like ‘The Big Sellout’ by Florian Opitz. They show how the privatisation of natural resources brings about increased class division and poor people’s diminished access to essentials—without exception.

People could also study the history of Ross Beaty, the man that wants to build Magma Energy to being ‘the biggest and best geothermal energy enterprise in the world.’ Ross is the founder and chairman of Pan American Silver Corporation, which operates metal mines in Bolivia, Mexico and Peru, where mining is done by the book: environmental disasters, human rights violations, low paid labour and union restrictions, to mention but a few of the industry standards. Read More

Aug 12 2010
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The Energy Export and the Privatisation of HS Orka


It has hardly escaped the attention of anyone living in Iceland of late, that the Canadian geothermal company, Magma Energy, recently bought Geysir Green Energy´s (another geothermal energy company) stock in HS Orka (southwest-peninsula power company), making Magma a majority stockholder with 98,5% partnership. Magma´s purchase of GGE´s stock comes as no surprise whereas it´s been clear from the onset that Magma intended to claim majority ownership over HS Orka.

Small and Cute – For Concerned Icelanders

Ross Beaty, CEO of Magma Energy, has repeatedly been asked if he´s exploiting Iceland´s economic turmoil to claim control over the country´s resources, which he has always denied. On the 26th of August last year when he appeared on Kastljós, an ‘after-news special’ program on RUV (Icelandic National Broadcasting Association), Beaty also denied being interested in more power plants. “No, we´re focusing on this now. This is a small nation and it doesn´t serve our purposes to become to big”.

Because of exactly these comments, the announcement that HS Orka had sought permission to do test drilling in Hrunamannaafrétti, from Flúðir and into Kerlingarfjöll in search of geothermal areas garnered a considerate ammount of attention. Keep in mind that a research permission is not a permission to raise a power plant, but still, just drilling one test hole can cause a considerate ammount of damage on pristine land. Then, just a few days later, RUV news reported that Suðurorka, an energy company owned by HS Orka and The Icelandic Power Company (a consulting company), has plans of building a dam in Skaftárhreppur, the 150 MW Búlandsdam, over the next four years. HS Orka seems therefore to be on the warpath.

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May 22 2010
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Magma Energy Lied to Us


This article, written by Catharine Fulton was originally published on grapevine.is

Geothermal PlantLet’s cut to the chase. The opacity of Icelandic business and politics has done the country, as a whole, no favours. Much hand shaking and back scratching has gone on behind closed doors and such secluded business environments have proved themselves to be breeding grounds for lies, corruption, fraud, swindling, and downright thievery.

With Icelandic bankers being held in local prisons and wanted by Interpol and the once celebrated “outvasion Vikings” having their pants sued off by the Americans, now is a time to usher in a new, honest era of business in Iceland in an effort to get the country and its economy back on track and to restore the trust of the mass populace in the system.

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May 22 2010

Foreign Energy Concern Set to Buy Nearly All of Icelandic Energy Company


This item, written by Paul Nikolov, originally appeared on grapevine.is, a news site which has been following this case from last summer.

GeysirThe Canadian energy company Magma Energy will soon own 98% of HS Orka, an Icelandic power company. Leftist-Green MP Ögmundur Jónasson believes the government ought to step in and prevent the sale from happening.

In a nutshell, Magma Energy already owns 46% of HS Orka, a measure approved by the conservative-led city council last autumn. Now Magma is set to buy Icelandic energy comapny Geysir Green Energy’s 52% stake in HS Orka. This effectively puts Iceland’s third largest power company in the hands of a foreign company, with very few returns remaining in the country.

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May 20 2010

Magma Energy Takes Over HS Orka


PipelinesThe third largest power company in Iceland, HS Orka (Southern Peninsula Power Company) is in the process of being sold to the Canadian company Magma Energy. Magma already owns 46% of the stocks in HS Orka and is now set on buying Geysir Green Energy´s (GGE) 52% stock, leaving only 2% of the company in Icelandic hand´s. Magma´s takeover of the company started in july of 2009 when Magma bought an 11% share from GGE. Around the time of the purchase, Ross Beaty, Magma’s director stated that the company did not plan to become predominant in H.S. Orka or meddle with the management of the company’s power plants. Now, barely a year later, those words seem long forgotten.

Members of the left wing in the Icelandic government and environmentalists have been criticising the sale, focusing on the fact that a national resource is slipping out of the populations hands and citing laws forbidding investors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to own part of Icelandic power companies. But nobody seems to mind the fact that even before the sale of GGE´s share, the majority of HS Orka had already fallen into the hands of foreign investors, though only partly. How so? GGE owned 52% of HS Orka. Íslandsbanki (formerly Glitnir, formerly Íslandsbanki) owned 40% of stocks in GGE, so whereas 95% of Íslandsbanki was in the hands of foreign creditors, many of whom are from outside of the EEA, aproximately 20% of HS Orka was belonging to these foreign creditors. On top of that can be added the fact that all board members of HS Orka at that time were under Íslandsbanki´s control, the bank now headed by former president of Landsvirkjun (National Energy company) and environmental terrorist, Friðrik Sophusson. Like stated above, Magma owned 46% of HS Orka at that time, making the total foreign ownership of the company aproximately 66%.

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