Archive for 2010

May 22 2010
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Magma Energy Lied to Us

This article, written by Catharine Fulton was originally published on

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, 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 22 2010

Gold Rush in Iceland

GoldminesPlatina Resources is seeking permission to go hunting for gold in the eastern regions of Iceland, where they wish to spend the next two years on their search. The project is to span huge areas of land, all the way from Vopnafjörður to the north, south to Breiðdalur, with all the senseless destruction research expeditions of this kind always entail. The focus is to be on gold mining, but the company does not rule out possibilities of copper, led, silver or zinc findings.

The application is now being administrated and presented to landowners. Orkustofnun (National Energy Authority) has already declared that as long as there are no serious comments against it, Platina Resources can have the research permissions in hand as early as July.

There have been made some earlier attempts at finding gold in Iceland. Some signs of gold ores have been found, but always in such a small quantity the projects have been deemed unprofitable. The main conclusion though, has been that there is gold to be found in the burnt out geothermal areas throughout the country, the area from Vopnafjörður to Breiðudalur having been confirmed as belonging amongst those.

May 21 2010
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Nine Protesters Charged for Attacking Parliament

The following report from Haukur Már Helgason:

7 of the Reykjavik 9Mirroring France’s Tarnac 9, nine people have been charged in Reykjavík for ‘attacking parliament’ in December 2008, when they entered public benches, unarmed and without any violent intent or effort, to shout at congressmen: ‘Get the fxxx out! This building does not serve its purpose any more!’ Which was, in all respects, true. 40 days later public protest outed the government.

As they are now tried in court for this violation of section 100 of the penal code, 600 people who participated in the January 2009 protest have signed a petition demonstrating their support by demanding that if the trial is not cancelled, they will be charged for the same offense, since that demonstration was only a more effective attempt to ‘attack parliament’ if that interpretation of events holds.

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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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May 18 2010
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Landsvirkjun´s Spin on their Energy Prices to Heavy Industry


Aluminium PricesThe deals on energy prices between Landsvirkjun (Iceland´s National Energy company) and the aluminum companies working in Iceland have been kept secret from the public since they got signed. The only notion the public had was a pamphlet called ”Lowest Energy Prices”, published in 1995 to lure heavy industry to the country, which like the name states, was filled with promises about cheap, greenwashed, energy. Looking at surrounding countries many estimated that the prices were close to a half of what households in Iceland pay. But after Alain Belda, Alcoa´s president, had the now famous slip of his tounge in Brazil that revealed that they were paying $15 for the MWh (megawatt hour), and RUV´s (Icelandic National Broadcasting Association) exposure of Century Aluminum´s prices earlier in the year, Landsvirkjun decided to open their books in, what they call ”an attempt to create peace around the company´s actions”. In reality they´re just blowing smoke in people faces with well chosen figures in a desperate attempt to save the companies already ruined credibility.

The Price Revealed
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May 16 2010 is back!

Hello and welcome back to our website.

We know that over the past few months our website has stood on shaky ground. Slowdowns, random temporary down times and finally, the site being down altogether.

Well, we’ve given the site a heaving of loving care and now we’re very happy to put it back online. For good.

As you can see, it’s had a bit of a facelift. But more than that, we now have a few new features too. Try using the search box, for example.

With all techy projects, there are bound to be a few bugs here and there. Let us know about them!

Be sure to keep checking up our site, or subscribe to our rss feeds, because the struggle against the heavy industrialisation of Iceland and the destruction of its wilderness, alas, continues.

Mar 11 2010

Iceland´s Cheap Energy Prices Finally Revealed

Century's Grundartangi SmelterThroughout the years, Saving Iceland has been pointing out that the common household on Iceland would end up paying the bill for the aluminium factories. The secrecy that shrouds the contracts between Landsvirkjun (the National Energy Company) and the aluminium companies shouts corruption and even more voices have been questioning the deals publicly and pressing on for those numbers to be revealed.

On the 9th of March, RUV (Icelandic National Broadcast Association) revealed a strictly confidential report the news channel has in their hands. The report, which was made for Norðurál (Century Aluminum) and foreign banks by the consulation office Hatch, shows the different costs of the industry, including the energy price.

That price of the KWh is bound to the price of each ton of aluminium, a 0.00000001% of the selling price. That means that while the price of aluminum was 1400$ a ton, Norðurál was paying 1,4 cents per KWh, making it the cheapest in Europe and leaving Landsvirkjun’s profit from the energy they sell to them dependant on the unstable aluminum price.
This price also means that Norðurál is paying a fourth of what aluminum companies in Europe are paying for their energy and on top of that, only a meager fifth of what the local population has to pay for their private energy usage.

Since the news came out, Landsvirkjun has announced they will be revealing their prices to the aluminium industry during the middle of next month.

Previously, Alain Belda, presdient of Alcoa, had revealed their energy bill in Iceland in a speech he held in Brazil. From figures he cited there people could calculate that it was the lowest energy price for an aluminium company anywhere in the world.

Keep checking this site for updates on these news.

Feb 22 2010

Mining and Refinery Projects Devastate Communities in India

From Amnesty International, February 2010

Plans to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills in the Indian state of Orissa threaten the very existence of the Dongria Kondh – an indigenous community that has lived on and around the hills for centuries.

The Dongria Kondh depend entirely on the hills for their food, water, livelihoods and cultural identity. They consider the Niyamgiri Hills as sacred.

The proposed mine could have grave repercussions for their human rights to water, food, health, work and other rights as an Indigenous community in respect of their traditional lands. International law requires that governments seek their free, prior informed consent before beginning such projects.

In Lanjigarh, at the foot of the Niyamgiri Hills, air and water pollution from an alumina refinery run by Vedanta Aluminium are threatening the health and well-being of local communities.

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Feb 08 2010

Plan to Dam Þjórsá River Declined

Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Minister of Environment, recently declined land-use plans made by the parishes of Flóahreppur and Skeiða- and Gnúpverjahreppur at the request of Landsvirkjun (National Energy Company), which had also paid for the preperations to the changes in the plans. The minister declined the land-use plans on the grounds that according to Icelandic law, such plan changes are to be paid for by the communities themselves, and any third-party involvement in the costs is illegal.

Of course the governmental opposition parties and their usual gang of industrial lobbyists are furious over the ruling, and critisice it heavily, displaying reactions the environmental minister described as being similar to allergic reactions. Amongst other things they accuse her of hindering those who are trying to build up work in the energy and industry sectors and blocking the creation of new jobs in a country they claim is ravaged by unemployment (approximately 8,6% at last count).

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