Andri Snær Magnason, Fréttablaðið – In these turbulent times interested parties use the opportunity to offer us “solutions” and relief. This time around it involves “alleviating all restrictions” and putting public energy companies up as 300 – 400 milliard collateral for two to three new aluminium plants. This is what is on the drawing board when the total debt of OR and LV (the central public energy institutions) are already at a dizzying 550 milliards – mostly because of Alcoa and Norðurál (Century Aluminum). This is why the banks always preached large-scale industry policies – more debt – more joy. It’s down to the price of aluminium to repay these loans, but aluminium prices are plummeting and a level of overproduction has already been reached. The nation believes that the magic term EXPORT EARNINGS is money that will end up in the nation’s pocket. News of export earnings and foreign currency receipts have time and again been directly false and treacherous. A bar chart published in the Morgunblaðið newspaper the 11th of October depicts the aluminium industry as more important than the fishing industry and considerably larger than the tourism industry. But the presentation is exactly as the INTERESTED PARTIES would like to have it portrayed in the media. When Alcoa Fjarðaál claims to export for 70 milliards a year, most Icelanders believe that this is currency that we can use. Read More
'Reykjavik Energy' Tag Archive
Aug 22 2008
Two days ago two Romanian workers suffocated while wielding pipes for the geothermal expansion project at Hellisheidi, east of Reykjavik (1). The Hellisheidi power plant is being expanded by Reykjavik Energy company. The campaign group Saving Iceland believes that serious accidents are almost unavoidable due to the extreme circumstances the Eastern European workers in Iceland are forced to work in.
At the construction site for the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant expansion, the labour intensive work is done by Polish and Rumanian workers. These live in a work camp on the construction site. The Rumanian pipe wielders of which two died are working for Altak, a contractor of Reykjavik Energy. Read More
Aug 10 2008
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 28 2008
HELLISHEIDI (ICELAND) – This morning the direct action campaign Saving Iceland has occupied one of the main geothermal drill sites in Hengill where the Hellisheidi power plant is being expanded by Reykjavik Energy. 20 activists have chained themselves to machinery and have climbed the drill to hang up a banner saying “Reykjavik Energy out of Hellisheidi and Yemen”. They have also occupied the power control room of the drill site. The power to the drill was shut off and drilling was stopped for the rest of the day. Seven people got arrested. The protest was aimed at Reykjavik Energy supplying electricity to aluminium smelters in Iceland, destruction and pollution of the Hengill area and RE’s sponsoring of severe human rights abuse in Yemen.
In the last week, Saving Iceland took action at the Glencore and ALCOA headquarters in Switzerland as well as all Swiss Icelandic consulates, the Icelandic embassy in Rome, Icelandic consulate in Milan and also the headquarters of Impregilo. In Iceland Century Aluminum and Landsvirkjun both saw two actions against them and now Reykjavik Energy was targeted. Read More
This week Frettabladid and Iceland Review reported that Saving Iceland rejected an offer from Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (Reykjavik Energy) to receive a grant. Vice-chairman of OR, Ásta Thorleifsdóttir, told Fréttabladid that she admires the vision of the Saving Iceland organization.
“We applaud that OR has started listening to criticism, and that this has lead to the cancellation of plans to buid the Bitruvirkjun plant in Hengill. However, Hellisheidi is still being expanded for aluminium and this is not something we support at all. OR is a company that is still directly involved in heavy industry expansion, so we can not accept any donations from them,” says Saving Iceland’s Jaap Krater. Read More
Interview with Siggi by Kristin Burnett
Strip Las Vegas Magazine
Nov 28 2007
Reykjavík Energy (OR) is examining the feasibility of harnessing Farid, a river that runs out of Hagavatn lake, south of Langjökull glacier in Iceland’s western highlands, and constructing a 30 to 40 MW hydroelectric plant there.
Farid would be dammed and another dam would also be constructed above Leynifoss waterfall, Morgunbladid reports.
The Ministry of Industry granted permission earlier this year for OR to examine this possibility and to see whether the prevention soil eruption and production of hydroelectric power could go together.
Employees of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland have long considered damming the river to prevent soil eruption in the area since they believe it originates in the dried-up base of Hagavatn lake.
The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, however, believes that if Hagavatn lake is used as a reservoir, soil erosion from its base will increase in late winter and early summer.
Director of the Icelandic Tourist Association Ólafur Örn Haraldsson is against the plans. “A dam and a power plant will destroy one of the most spectacular land formation processes of Langjökull,” he said, adding the area is like an open and easily readable geology book.
Haraldsson said the area is becoming an increasingly popular hiking destination, which has the potential to become as popular as Laugavegur hiking route to Landmannalaugar, south Iceland.
Nov 08 2007
8 November 2007
A new national record in criticizing a power plant has been set.
Following negative reports from environmental engineers, objections to the Bitru and Hverahlíð geothermal power plant expansion have grown to over 678. Residents, scientists and town authorities are concerned with how close the power plant is planned to be to the town of Hveragerði. They are also afraid that it will harm future tourism, and obstruct land for outdoor activities. Read More
Oct 06 2007
Reykjavík City Council Quarrels about REI-GGE Merger
Members within the Independence Party of Reykjavík City Council are in a hefty debate about the merger between Reykjavík Energy Invest and Geysir Green Energy, announced Wednesday. Reykjavík City holds a share in REI.
REI was founded in March as the daughter company of Reykjavík Energy (OR) and the board of OR and their shareholders agreed on the merger at a meeting on Wednesday, ruv.is reports.
During the meeting it became evident that the attendees had very different opinions on the role and policy of OR and whether OR, a public company, should participate in such risky private business investments, which is where REI seems to be headed.
Some of the Independence Party members who hold a seat in the City Council said the merger happened too quickly and that their opinions, as representatives voted by Reykjavík residents to protect the city’s interests, had been ignored.
Independence Party council members approached by ruv.is would not comment on the record. One member, Gísli Marteinn Baldursson, only said the case was “sensitive” and that he needed to discuss it further with his colleagues before making any comments.
According to ruv.is, the merger will have certain consequences for the OR board—city councilmen who have a seat there may have to leave the board, including Reykjavík Mayor Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson.
Following the debate, Vilhjálmsson requested last night that Bjarni Ármannsson, chairman of REI’s board, allow all OR employees to have the same preemptive rights to purchase shares in REI after the merger, Fréttabladid reports.
Gudmundur Thóroddsson, who is on leave from his position as OR’s CEO and the CEO of REI, was permitted to purchase shares with a par value of ISK 23 million (USD 373,000, EUR 264,000) at the currency rate of 1.3.
Three geologists, two engineers and one economist were permitted to purchase shares with a par value of 7.8 million (USD 127,000, EUR 90,000) at the 1.3 currency rate, but other OR employees were only allowed to purchase shares with a par value of up to ISK 300,000 (USD 4,900, EUR 3,400).
Ármannsson said REI’s board would review the mayor’s request.
REI and GGE to Merge and Become Energy Giant
Reykjavík Energy Invest (REI) and Geysir Green Energy (GGE) announced at a press conference yesterday that the companies would merge under the REI name. After the merger, the company will be worth ISK 65 billion (USD 1.1 billion, EUR 748 million).
“The merger is a way to achieve rapid growth. Size matters, because the companies we will compete with and be in competition with are huge energy companies,” Hannes Smárason, chairman of GGE’s board and CEO of FL Group, told Morgunbladid.
“With an increase in size we will have a larger say as well as access to more funding and thus take on larger projects, which are the most profitable and exciting projects in this business,” Smárason added.
“I am convinced that a merger will bring many opportunities and that there is a bright future ahead,” said Bjarni Ármannsson, who will serve as chairman of the new company’s board.
“But it depends of course on who is holding the cards. It is the responsibility of those in charge to create value. It is far from being within reach, but one could say that time is on our side and the wind is at our backs,” Ármannsson concluded.
Smárason and Ármannsson will introduce the merger at an FL Group investor meeting in London today.
Geysir Green Energy acquires shares in WGP
Are ALCOA to be given Landsvirkjun on a silver plate?
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.