'Surinam' Tag Archive

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.
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Aug 17 2007
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Double Death – Aluminium’s Links with Genocide


By Felix Padel and Samarendra Das, Economic and Political Weekly, December 2005
Cost of resistance

“The evidence we present goes against the conventional history of aluminium, which tends to portray the industry as central to various countries’ economic power and prosperity, without understanding the financial manipulation and exploitation between and within countries, and the true costs.”

Few people understand aluminium’s true form or see its industry as a whole. Hidden from general awareness are its close link with big dams, complex forms of exploitation in the industry’s financial structure, and a destructive impact on indigenous society that amounts to a form of genocide. At the other end of the production line, aluminium’s highest-price forms consist of complex alloys essential to various ‘aerospace’/’defence’ applications.1 The metal’s high ‘strategic importance’ is due to its status as a key material supplying the arms industry. In these four dimensions ‘ environmental, economic, social and military ‘ it has some very destructive effects on human life.
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Mar 17 2007

Surinam to get aluminum-smelter and nuclear reactor


Paramaribo – In the second half of this year the first start is made for the build of an aluminium factory in Groot-Chatillon, across Paranam, as they start the ground displacement.

by Ivan Cairo 16-03-2007

The financing of the multi-million dollar project is all arranged, but Surinams membership of the International Atom Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations is required. “I am doing the consultation round inside Surinam, on a national level, to get advice in order to see whether Surinam is ready to become a member. I do not want to take that decision alone”, answerred minister Lygia Kraag-Keteldijk (Buza) to the question whether the IAEA-membership is already applied for. With the consultation several ministeries and the corporate live is involved and will be reflected if talks with other factors are necessary. The member of government claims that if necessary will be researched what conditions a country has to meet in order to become a member of the IAEA.

The build of the integrated project that will be executed by Surinam Industrial Engineering will take about three years, says manager Misram Chanderbosch. In the 40 megawatt nuclear plant 30 million US-dollars will be invested. In other industries that are also started there, a total of 2 to 3 billion US-dollars will be invested. The undertaker clearly states that investors from the Netherlands, Great-Brittain and Germany are ready. The nuclear fuel for the energy plant will be delivered by companies in South-Africa, Italy, Japan, China and France.

The waist of the plant will be taken back by the suppliers every three years so that possible problems for the environment are excluded.

“The energy will exclusively be used for the industry”, says Chanderbosch, “and not for normal households.” He adds that in Groot-Chatillon a rolling-mill and a flatting-mill will be build. The aluminium plant will mainly produce aluminium blocks (ingots), foil paper and high-tension cables. The smelting-works will be made up out of several production units with a capacity of 250.000 tons each a year. Between 1000 and 1500 labour places will be created. With BHP-Billiton and Suralco deals have been made about supplying the alum soil. The Brokopondo-agreement settles that. The same amount of alum soil will be imported from abroad for the processing, should local bauxite companies not be able to supply.

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 14 2005

NACIÓN CONDENADA


NACIÓN CONDENADA

“Con un coste de más de 1 billón de dólares, el
proyecto de la presa hidroeléctrica de Karahnjukar en Islandia, es un proyecto enormemente controvertido.”

(Mark Lynas/The Ecologist v.33, n.10, 1. Enero 2004)

Mark Lynas viajó hasta el meollo de la cuestión,
esperando descubrir por sí mismo la verdadera cara de este monstruo industrial.
“Sólo llevaba tres días en Islandia y todo iba mal. Estaba allí para investigar el gigantesco proyecto de la fundición de aluminio de Karahnjúkar, una enorme presa hidroeléctrica que está actualmente siendo construida en un lugar remoto de las tierras altas del este. Muy polémico durante el periodo de planificación, Karahnjúkar desencadenó manifestaciones nacionales, campañas internacionales de envío de e-mails y faxes e incluso una huelga de hambre llevada a cabo por la madre de la cantante Björk. Ya había visto otros proyectos de presas destrozar paisajes naturales y sociedades humanas en sitios como India y Brasil.Para mí era bastante claro que las grandes presas son generalmente algo nefasto. Aun así, me encontré sentado en la oficina de Mr Thorsteinn Hilmarsson, agente de prensa de la compañía eléctrica nacional Landsvirkjun, que me estaba convenciendo de que Karahnjukar era, en realidad, beneficioso. Read More

Jan 26 2005

Iceland Under Attack – Threatened Protestors Raise Stakes, Call for International Protest


Sauðárfossar – Amongst numerous waterfalls destroyed by the Kárahnjúkar dams

Corporate Watch

“Nobody can afford to allow the divine Icelandic dragon of flowers and ice to be devastated by corporate greed”

People in Iceland are calling for an international protest against the building of a series of giant dams, currently under construction in the eastern highlands of Iceland. The dams are designated solely to generate energy for a massive aluminium smelter, which will be run by the US aluminium corporation Alcoa and built by Bechtel.Not a single kilowatt of energy produced by the dams will go for domestic use. Alcoa is seizing the chance to relocate to Iceland after costs of producing aluminium in the US soared. Read More

Jan 05 2005
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ALCOA’s Alarming Record on Pollution


Alcoa, Inc. is one of the worst polluters on the planet. They are at the forefront of poisoning the air, land and water of Texas, the most heavily polluted state in the nation. Alcoa has grandfathered facilities exempt from the 1971 Clean Air Act. In Texas alone, it has several hundred plants that are accountable for the mounting pollution problems of the state.

Rockdale, Texas, located around 50 miles east of Austin, is home to a plant that sprawls over 7,000 acres and runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is powered by four on-site power plants, three of which were built before the Clean Air Act of 1971 was approved. It contributes to the pollution problems in Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The aluminum smelter here discharges roughly 104,000 tons of air emissions per year, including over 60,000 tons of acid rain.

Alcoa says that if it were forced to comply with state and national clean air laws, the alterations in equipment would be so expensive that the company would be forced to shut down the Rockdale plant; instead of doing this, they’ll keep the plant running and contaminate the area.

Between the years 1983 to 1987 at a time when they were under scrutiny to maintain clean facilities, Alcoa spent $62 million to upgrade their facilities without consent from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nor the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), blatantly violating federal law. Large increases in air pollution ensued in 1988, including nitrous oxides, particulate matter (which contain human carcinogens), carbon monoxide, and an annual increase of 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide since completion of the modifications. Although Alcoa blatantly violated federal law, neither the EPA nor the TNRCC pressed charges.

Since 1987, more than forty-seven Alcoa facilities have been cited for pollution violations by state and federal regulators. In one instance when the EPA opposed Alcoa, they along with the Justice Department filed claims against the company as reported March 14, 2000. In the agreement, Alcoa consented to pay about $8.8 million to clean the Mississippi River Basin, reduce hazardous waste generation, and research new air pollution reduction technology.

In Port Allen, LA, Discovery Aluminas, Inc., an Alcoa subsidy, pleaded guilty to contaminating the water and was fined over one million dollars by the state and the federal government. In Point Comfort, TX, Alcoa was fined $181,400 for emission violations in its bauxite refining plant.

Alcoa was also cited for illegal export practices. They shipped potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride to Jamaica and Suriname on 50 separate occasions without obtaining the required Commerce export licenses, then lied about it. They were hit with a $750,000 civil penalty.

Source- www.utwatch.org/corporations/alcoa.html

Alcoa to pay $550,000 settlement for water pollution at Indiana plant
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Alcoa Inc. will pay $550,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging the aluminum maker’s aerospace products plant violated water pollution limits.

Source-U.S. Water News Online February 2002

ABC News, December 23, 2004 -A Perth magistrate has imposed a $60,000 fine on mining company Alcoa for polluting the air around its Wagerup refinery. Alcoa pleaded guilty to the pollution charge that related to Bauxite residue dust blowing over Wagerup and Yarloop, south of Perth, in November 2002.

Source – www.minesandcommunities.org/Action/press513.htm

Jan 01 2004

Barclays and the Kárahnjúkar Project


Briefing from International Rivers Network and Friends of the Earth
January 2004

The article in pdf format

EXPOSING THE EQUATOR PRINCIPLES

 

sun2 

Barclays bank are helping to arrange a $400 million loan to an Icelandic power company (‘Landsvirkjun’) to construct the countries biggest hydropower project (‘Karahnjukar’) in the Iceland Central Highlands, the second largest remaining wilderness area in Europe, in apparent breach of the banks own green project finance principles the Equator Principles and for the primary purpose of providing cheap electricity for a new aluminium smelter (‘Fjardaal’) for the aluminium producer Alcoa. Read More

Jan 01 2004

‘Damned Nation’ by Mark Lynas


‘Damned Nation’ is very good on the spiel behind the Karahnjukar project and Alcoa.

The Ecologist
v.33, n.10, 1. Jan 2004

Costing over $1 billion, the Karahnjukar hydroelectric dam in Iceland is a hugely controversial project. Mark Lynas journeyed to the blasting face, hoping to work out for himself whether this industrial elephant is green or brilliant-white.

blessunReassurances in the Impregilo work camp canteen Read More

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