'Bakki' Tag Archive

Jul 13 2008

Lethe and Anarchy with the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin)

Due to Iceland’s current difficult economic situation (read our recent report Iceland Overheats) and the rapidly increasing aluminium prices. Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde (Independence Party, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), who is doing his best to negotiate new emission rights with the UN, and the Icelandic authorities are now more likely than ever before to approve new aluminium smelters.
Apparently the Social Democratic Alliance, who are part of the current coalition government with the Independence Party, drank too much of the Greek Lethe River. Those who drink from it experience complete forgetfulness, exhibiting concealment

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Jul 10 2008

Energy Companies Destroying Þeistareykir

A recent exploration of the geothermal drilling sites in the North of Iceland by some members of Saving Iceland, uncovered shocking evidence of pollution and ecological damage at the Þeistareykir geothermal area near to Husavík.
Þeistareykir is one of three sites in the North currently being test drilled and researched to power the upcoming 250,000 tonne ALCOA smelter proposed at Bakki in Husavík. The area is about an hours drive from the main road down a rough track, and is located about half way between Husavík and Krafla (the biggest geothermal zone in the North, where extensive expansion to the current power plant is also taking place). Read More

Jun 29 2008

Húsavík Contract Signed Behind Closed Doors

Today, Alcoa, the Ministry of Industry and Norðurþing district council signed a research contract for Alcoa’s planned aluminium smelter in Húsavík (Bakki), north Iceland. The contract allows for the furthering of research into the efficiency of the smelter construction and into the energy production capability of the geothermal areas in the north. The smelter is supposed to be run on geothermal energy only. Read More

Aug 19 2007
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The Myth of an Aluminium Plant at Húsavík


Is the Energy on the Doorstep?

By Dr. Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttur

Many things have been said and written about plans for ALCOA´s aluminium plant at Bakki near Húsavík. One after another, important men have praised the idea and by now the only political parties not supporting it are the Iceland Movement and the Left Green party.
The propaganda of the supporters follows these lines: “utilise the national energy potential,” “the people of Húsavík have a right to an aluminium plant,” “the plant will only use energy drawn from the land nearby Húsavík, “damming of Skjálfandafljót and Jökulsá á Fjöllum is nothing but environmental propaganda”, “Geothermal energy has a low environmental impact”, “preparation work has been exceptionally well done.”
But how much truth do those slogans contain? Is there something more that needs to be looked into? Are the people of Húsavík, politicians included pushing the issues forward without really having looked at all the facts? Read More

Dec 25 2006

Christmas Victory for Trinidadian anti-smelter movement

In his Christmas year-end review, Trinidadian Prime Minister Patrick Manning announced that he is to scrap his plans to build an Alcoa Aluminium smelter by the towns of Chatam and Cap de Ville, where local residents have fiercely campaigned against the government’s smelter plan. Read More

Mar 01 2006

ALCOA Offices in Reykjavik Stormed by 30 Young People

Less than an hour after ALCOA’s New York announcement about a new smelter in north Iceland 30 young people stormed the ALCOA head office in Reykjavik. They staged a noise demo and demanded ALCOA should withdraw any plans for the Husavik smelter in the north of Iceland, that ALCOA immediately stopped building the smelter in Reydarfjordur, that ALCOA should get out of Iceland for good and that all further plans for any heavy industry in Iceland be abandoned.

The protesters got past security by making enquirees about ALCOA’s policy regarding jobs for disabled people. Once the protesters were in the offices the ALCOA staff called the police who got violent as they ejected the protesters. Apparently the ‘Viking’ squad turned up and two people were hurt. According to the National Broadcasting Service one protestors’ camera was seized (illegally) by the police.

Mar 01 2006

Alcoa Add Fuel to the Fire and Announce Plans for a New Aluminium Smelter in Northern Iceland

“Jubilation” in ALCOA’s Reykjavik offices on the day of the announcement

Alcoa announced today that they would possibly want to build a $1-billion aluminum smelter in North Iceland. The proposed site is about 2 kilometers outside the town of Húsavík. An area famed for strong earthquakes. (See ‘A letter to ALCOA…‘)

The decision comes after an examination of three potential locations in Iceland, including sites near Skagafjördur and Akureyri. The Husavík location was chosen in part because of the area’s potential to use geothermal activity to supply energy for the smelter, according to Alcoa representative Jake Siewert. This is clearly a greenwashing opportunity ALCOA just can’t miss.

“We don’t think there’s another aluminum plant in the world that’s powered exclusively by geothermal,” says Siewert. “And that would make this really a first of its kind.”

He added that ALCOA felt very “welcome” in Iceland and that in spite of the fact that the majority of the nation do not want to see more heavy industry in their country and half the nation think that the Karahnjukar dams are a terrible mistake.

If approved, ground would be broken outside Husavík around 2010. The smelter would generate 250,000 metric tons per year, smaller than Alcoa’s 340,000 metric ton smelter being built today in east Iceland.

The disregard for environmental considerations and low cost of energy (the price is kept secret) offered by the Icelandic government make the country very attractive for global corporations such as Alcoa, Alcan, Century and R&D Carbon to set up mega-projects.

Last week, Alcoa also entered into an agreement with the government of Trinidad and Tobago to build a $1.5-billion aluminum smelter. See ‘Alcoa facing growing protests over proposed Trinidad Smelter’ in News.

Perhaps this feeling of being so “welcome” in Iceland had something to do with the decision of the ALCOA directors not to come to Iceland this time around to make their announcement. Just in case many Icelandic people would take to the streets yet again to protest against ALCOA’s pressence and tell them to to go to hell.

Feb 28 2006

ALCOA Runcorn Factory in UK Blocked by Environmental Activists

At the time of writing around thirty protesters are blockading the entrance to the Runcorn Alcoa factory near Manchester. Seven people have locked onto each other with armtubes and for nearly three hours all traffic to and from the factory has been blockaded.

Alcoa are being targeted because of their involvement in the Karahnjukar dam projects. The campaign is growing and intensifying as the Icelandic government and Alcoa’s plans for devastation of the Icelandic landscape expand. Tomorrow Alcoa will announce whether they intend to build another smelter in the North of Iceland, a decision we feel should be made by the people of Iceland rather than a foreign corporation.

Recently a third of the workers at the Runcorn factory have been made redundant, according to them to get cheaper labour. Workers passing by our protest have all been very polite and many have wished us luck. The protest has been peaceful.

Interview with one of the protesters, footage and more still photographs from the protest is available. Please contact: Email deleted[Ed.]