'ALCOA' Tag Archive

Mar 17 2007

Alcoa and Brazil’s latest dam project – They’re doing it again!

Brazilian environmental activists are charging that Brazilian environmental authorities and an Alcoa lead consortium planning construction of Barra Grande dam conspired to commit fraud in the awarding of an environmental license for the project. Members of Brazil’s Movement of Dam-Affected People (MAB) and environmentalists blockaded the access road to a stand of virgin forest slated for clearing before the filling of the reservoir. In all, 6,000 hectares of primary forests, including araucaria pines, in one of the richest remaining expanses of the threatened Atlantic Coast rainforest, would be flooded by the dam on the Pelotas river in Southern Brazil. A 2,000 hectare stand of virgin araucaria forests was somehow “omitted” in the project’s environmental studies. Local groups have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to annul the license awarded to Barra Grande, to require the consortium to carry out new studies evaluating the possibility of operating the reservoir at a lower level to avoid drowning the araucaria forests, and if this is deemed impossible, to order the demolition of the dam structure. Heavily-armed riot police have reportedly been sent to the area to disperse protestors. The consortium building Barra Grande includes the Pittsburgh-based Alcoa aluminum company (which contains Kathy Fuller, President of WWF-USA as a Board Member), MAB leader Soli da Silva says the mobilization will continue indefinitely. “We cannot permit that fraud and a ‘done deal’ become the rule on environmental licensing for hydroelectric projects in our country.” Please support these brave environmentalists at http://forests.org/action/brazil/ .
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Mar 17 2007

Alcoa plans to build three dams in Brazilian Amazon

Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum company, has announced plans to construct at least three large dams in the Brazilian Amazon. The dams will flood indigenous lands as well as protected ecological reserves and other critical wetlands in the rainforest. Tens of thousands of families will lose their homes and livelihood, including family farmers, fisherfolk, palm nut gatherers, and ceramic makers.

Yet, no studies of the cumulative impacts of these and 13 other proposed large dams have been carried out. Indications are that these dams will destroy thousands of square kilometers of natural ecosystems along the river systems, and further spread poverty throughout the eastern Amazon.

Tell Alcoa to scrap plans for Amazon dams! Send a FREE FAX to Alcoa CEO Alain Belda, http://www.corpwatch.org/action/PAA.jsp?articleid=1017

or first read more about the issue on the International Rivers Network website:

Mar 16 2007

Week of Iceland Actions in the Low Countries


18 March 2006

Last week saw a number of actions in solidarity with the Icelandic movement in Belgium and the Netherlands. Friday morning, Saving Iceland and the Dutch/Belgian environmentalist network GroenFront! built a dam blockading the entrance of the Icelandic Embassy in Brussels (photo-report). Earlier in the week, a picketline was held at the Icelandic Consulate in Rotterdam and the folk singer Armand, the “Dutch Bob Dylan”, performed songs of praise to Icelandic nature. Finally, EarthFirst! closed down both ALCOA’s Dutch head office in Drunen and an ALCOA factory in Kerkrade, the Netherlands in opposition to heavy industry. The actions express growing international concern about the plans for expansion of the aluminium industry and megahydro in Iceland and other countries such as Trinidad and Brazil. Read More

Mar 16 2007



16 March 2007

Last night “Earth First!” closed Alcoa’s headquarters in Drunen, the Netherlands. Alcoa’s largest Dutch factory in Kerkrade was also shut. Entrance gates were locked with chains. The gates’ locks themselves were sabotaged with a liquid.

Alcoa is constructing new aluminum smelters in Iceland. Alcoa also plans to build new smelters in Trinidad and in the Amazon. There is fierce local and international opposition to these plans. Effects on nature and climate are devastating. Various planned smelters would be powered by constructing new megadams that would flood large areas of unique wilderness.

With this action, we are declaring our solidarity with the Saving Iceland campaign. Saving Iceland has called out for an international week of action against heavy industry. This action has been done in response to that call.

Earth First! in Belgium and the Netherlands is also called Groen Front!.
Earth First! is not an organisation but an international banner for direct action.


Websites that contain information relevant to these issues:

Mar 14 2007
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Dutch Folk Singer Fighting for Icelandic Nature


Performance and picketline at Icelandic Consulate in Rotterdam

Wednesday March 14th, 2007, the international campaign Saving Iceland and the nature-activist network GroenFront!, will blockade the Icelandic Consulate, Weena 690, Rotterdam. “With this blockade, we want to make it clear to the Icelandic government, that people in the Netherlands are very worried about the Icelandic heavy industry program and it’s effects on nature and the climate,” says activist Sven Janson.
One remarkable protester will also be present at the protest. Armand is a legendary Dutch singer who’s music and lyrics have captured the hearts of the Dutch with sharp and witty comments on current affairs and important issues in society. He has visited Iceland and his performance is full of impressions of the unique beauty of Iceland. A photo report is available here.
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Mar 13 2007

Alcan taking heat over proposed Iceland smelter

Canada News
Tuesday March 13 2007

Margaret Munro
CanWest News Service

KEFLAVIK, Iceland – The Earth’s inner heat is so close to the surface on this windswept island that tourists bask in outdoor thermal pools even as the snow flies in late winter.

The heat attracts multinational companies, too, including Canadian-based Alcan. But they’re getting an increasingly chilly reception from the locals as they try to expand their business operations to take advantage of the abundant stores of inexpensive energy here.

“We don’t want to be the town with the biggest aluminum plant in all of Europe,” says Throstur Sverrisson, a longtime resident of the seaside community of Hafnarfjordur, where Alcan has run up against serious opposition.

The company plans to more that double the size of its existing smelter just outside Hafnarfjordur, one of four huge and controversial aluminum smelter projects. But a growing coalition of Icelanders is trying to halt the smelters, saying the government is sacrificing the island’s pristine environment to foreign companies.

They’re gearing up to make the smelters a major issue in the national election in May. And they’re taking aim at Alcan in a referendum March 31. Read More

Feb 19 2007

Mad as Hell – Interview with Andri Snær Magnason

Iceland Review

andri snaer 

Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason was recently awarded for his book Draumalandid (“Dreamland”), which harshly criticizes the government’s policy on heavy industry. Read IR’s Ed Weinman’s interview with Magnason on why he is so angry about this policy and why he decided to write a book about it. Read More

Feb 04 2007

Smokestacks in a White Wilderness Divide Iceland – New York Times

NY Times puts the spotlight on Kárahnjúkar
Alcoa is building an aluminum smelter in eastern Iceland, part of a project that is reshaping the wilderness. But a coalition of groups says Iceland is sacrificing its most precious asset — its pristine land — to foreign industry.


The New York Times


NORTH OF VATNAJOKULL GLACIER, Iceland — In the depths of winter there is almost nothing to see here but snow and rock: snow across the uneven, unearthly landscape, snow on the mist-shrouded mountains, snow stretching to what looks like the edge of the world.

But tucked into Iceland’s central highlands, where the Karahnjukar mountain meets two powerful rivers flowing north from Europe’s largest glacier, a nearly completed jigsaw of dams, tunnels and reservoirs has begun to reshape the wilderness.

This is the $3 billion Karahnjukar Hydropower Project, a sprawling enterprise to harness the rivers for electricity that will be used for a single purpose: to fuel a new aluminum smelter owned by Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum company. It has been the focus of the angriest and most divisive battle in recent Icelandic history. Read More

Feb 01 2007

Alcoa joins Hydro in Greenland smelter talks


Greenland rashly joins Iceland as the Final European Frontier for the aluminium industry.

Whilst we reported previously that Norsk Hydro were in talks to build a 300,000 MTPY hydroelectric powered aluminium smelter in Greenland, it actually seems that there is a highly nauseating competition taking place between Hydro and Alcoa to win this smelter contract. Or is Greenland Home Rule reckless enough to build two smelters in one of the planets most fragile ecosystems?

One is led to wonder if it is not the neo-colonial situation shared by the two small and easily manipulated nations that appeals to the powerful aluminium barons, just as in Trinidad and Tobago…

We urgently invite any individuals or groups enraged by this project to contact us, savingiceland@riseup.net

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Jan 31 2007
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Trinidad Smelter Coming this Year

Trinidad Express

Construction of an aluminium smelting plant in Trinidad and Tobago is set to begin before the end of this year. Furthermore, the nation can expect to see two aluminium smelters in operation by the year 2012. Read More