'Kárahnjúkar' Tag Archive

Jul 29 2005
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The Protest Camp has Moved


suckscr

29 July 2005

The people at the international protest camp were forced to find another location as a base, because the landowner of the piece of land the camp was stationed at (the Icelandic national church) gave in from pressure from police and Landsvirkjun and withdrew the permission for the camp to be there. Three local farmers offered the protesters to camp at their land and it goes to show that not all people in the East are pro dam and these farmers have shown great courage to offer us to stay on their land. The new location is at the land of Vad in Skriddalur. If you plan to come, give us a call for direction or if you need to be picked up at Egilsstadir.

The protests will go on, and everyone is welcome to join us.

The Protest Camp has moved

Jul 19 2005

A Statement from Kárahnjúkar Protest Camp


Saving Iceland

We have gathered to protest the continuing devastation of global ecology in the interest of corporate profits. We have come here to tip the balance of a struggle portrayed to be national, while actually being much larger: from the Narmada Dams in India, to the proposed Ilisu Dam in Turkey, the story is one of big business and oppressive government. The struggle to save our planet, like the struggle against inhumanity, is global, so we have to be too. We’re here to prevent the Kárahnjúkar Dam project from destroying Western Europe’s last great wilderness.

The industrialization of Iceland’s natural resources will not only devastate vast landscapes of great natural beauty and scientific importance, but impair species such as reindeer, seals and fish, and the already endangered pink-footed goose and several other bird species. Through this mindless vandalism against nature, the Icelandic tourist industry will also be affected and the health and life of the Icelandic people. This industrialization will bring pollution such as Iceland has not seen before. Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen, and many other chemicals used to process aluminium, are all products of the unnecessary and short-sighted profit-driven environmental barbarism of the aluminium industry. Under the burden of Kárahnjúkar, only one of many dams planned, rivers will choke, and people will choke.

If this dam goes ahead, it will pave the way for similar dams of glacial rivers all over the Icelandic highlands; Thjórsárver (protected by the international treaty of Ramsar!), Langisjór (one of Europe’s most beautiful lakes), the rivers in the Skagafjördur region and Skjálfandafljót. All just to generate energy for aluminium corporations. If this will be allowed to happen Iceland will face the same sad fate as other global communities, which have suffered under similar projects.

Across the world, people are coming together to oppose the blatant lies, corruption and oppression generated by corporations and governments alike. In this spirit, we are asking that all those opposing the Kárahnjúkar Dam organize or partake in solidarity actions globally or locally.

The world isn’t dying, it is being killed – there is no excuse for silence.

Jul 19 2005
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Violent Repression of Peaceful International Protest


pigs

Icelandic police order drivers to start machinery risking protestors’ lives.

Police and security guards at the Karahnjukar Dam construction site in Iceland, last night ordered the bulldozers drivers to start their engines and move off, despite there being more than 25 people locked on to the underside of their vehicles.

“It was terrifying, if someone hadn’t jumped up on the front of the truck and pulled out the fuel line then I think people may have been killed last night” said Rob, one of the protesters from the UK. Read More

Jul 19 2005
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Kárahnjúkar Dam Works Blockaded on Anniversary of Alcoa Signing


On Tuesday 19th July 2005 a group of approximately 20 of us hiked to the main junction approaching the site. Four of our group locked on to a pick up truck and a HUGE caterpillar construction vehicle. We managed to block two other access roads and halt work on the site for three hours.

truckstop

This was a first in Icelandic history: the police had to make up a word for “lock-on”. Thirteen of us were “detained, apparently “arrested”, and later released without charge….with the warning that Impregilo were “looking at this incident with grave eyes” and were likely to make a civil case. Impregilo have since changed their mind. For a change, the media did report that the protesters were “friendly”!

Jun 24 2005

The International Protest Camp at Kárahnjúkar


Sýndu þig!

The camp is east of Jökulsá á Brú, just before the bridge, 2 km. south of Kárahnjúkar. It is easily accessible by normal cars, about one and half hours drive from Egilsstaðir. Most of the road is asphalted but soon before you arrive at the camp it turns into a dust road and winds in sharp bends down towards the river. The camp is at the second bend towards the bridge.

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Jun 20 2005
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Answers from those Arrested at Hotel Nordica 14 June 2005


Answers to common questions about the ‘skyr action’ at Hotel Nordica 14 June, 2005.

 

the messenger 

Why this conference?

* It was a conference for aluminium and the related industry leaders from all over the world.

* They were here because they think Iceland is right for heavy industrial development. Ironically, this is down to its clean environmental record.

* The people gathered there were key decision makers, financiers and policy drivers behind the Karahnjukar project and other heavy industry developments across Iceland which we oppose.

* A session entitled “An Approach to Sustainability for a Greenfield Aluminium Smelter” started at 11:45 on the day. Hosted by Joe Wahba of Bechtel Corporation and T.M. Sigurdsson of Alcoa, the outrageous hypocrisy of the seminar was extremely provocative to those who truly aspire to the ecological value of sustainability. Read More

Jun 14 2005
3 Comments

Alcoa and Bechtel Greenwashed!!


Saving Iceland
June 2005

Whitewashing efforts by multinational vandals Bechtel and Alcoa were thwarted when environmentalists decided to Greenwash THEM instead.

Update: Paul Gill was released Saturday morning. He is to be detained in the country for two weeks and has to report twice a day to the police station in Reykjavik, which is unprecedented!

Delegates at the 10th World Aluminium Conference on Tuesday 14th June in Reykjavik were happily nodding and snoozing their way through a hypocritical sermon enjoying the oxymoronic title ‘An Approach to Sustainability For A Greenfield Aluminium Smelter’ when they suddenly found themselves rudely awoken by a group of protesters who ran in and drenched the speakers – industry fat cats Joe Wahba (Bechtel) and Tomas Mar Sigurdsson (Alcoa)- in green skyr (a kind of Icelandic runny yoghurt). Numerous other delegates were also spattered with the stuff. Read More

Jun 04 2005

The Grapes of Vaði – Interview with Guðmundur Ármannsson Farmer at Vað and Host to Saving Iceland Protest Camp in 2005


Grapevine Issue 6, August 2004 with update Jan. 2006

In the 1930s, dust storms swept the southern plains of the United States. The “Black Blizzards,” as they were called, had come about because of overfarming, which had caused the topsoil to wear thin and become dust. Crops failed, and as the banks that held the mortgages realised they would not be getting returns on their interest, farmers were run off of their land. Their plight is immortalised in the songs of Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck’s book “The Grapes of Wrath”, which went on to become a Hollywood film starring Henry Fonda as Steinbeck´s protagonist Tom Joad. Read More

May 15 2005
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‘Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Project – Estimate of Profitability’ by Thorsteinn Siglaugsson, MBA


Prepared for the Iceland Nature Conservation Association
Thorsteinn Siglaugsson MBA
Reykjavik 2002

Extract

Introduction

Landsvirkjun, the state-owned electric power company in Iceland has for some time been planning a large hydropower plant in the area north of Vatnajokull, Europe´s largest glacier in the east of Iceland. The facility would be built to produce electricity for a 390,000 ton aluminium smelter in Reydarfjördur on the east coast of Iceland.

Until recently a consortioum of Icelandic banks, pension funds and the Norwegian company Norsk Hydro planned to build and run the Reydarfjordur smelter, a prerequisite for initiating the Karahnjukar project. Early 2002 Norsk Hydro decided to postpone its final decision on the project. Subsequently the Icelandic government decided to seek other investors. In september Alcoa and the government signed an agreement to take up talks to build a 295,000 ton smelter in Reydarfjordur run on electric power from the Karahnjukar plant.

According to a previous study conducted for the Iceland Nature Conservation Association the Karahnjukar plant would not be financially viable when valued based on market rates of interest and return on equity expected for a comparable project. As a state owned company Landsvirkjun does however enjoy full financial backing from the state of Iceland and is able to borrow at sovereign rates. The Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation prepared an assessment of Landsvirkjun´s plans in September 2001 confirming that the project could support the cost of capital demanded by Landsvirkjun based on Landsvirkjun´s estimate of future power prices.

There are considerable differences between the current and earlier plans. The size of the power plant is different as well as the expected investment. The buyer profile is different which no doubt has an effect on interest rates and the construction timeline for the Karahnjukar plant is considerably shorter according to the current plans.

This report aims to compare the financial characteristics of the earlier plans for the Karahnjukar plant with the current plans. This includes an analysis of buyer risk profile, estimate of probable power price based on current and forecasted aluminium prices and the constraints provided by the general cost structure in the aluminium industry.

Read the report here or on the original site

Apr 19 2005
1 Comment

British MPs Support Our Campaign Against the Icelandic Dams


The Icelandic government and media tried to hush this story up by not reporting it for months! When environmental activist Olafur Pall Sigurdsson was being interviewed on a chat programme on the State Radio about hypothetical questions of civil disobedience he seized the opportunity and read aloud the whole of Doughty’s EDM. The programme presenter was seriously reprimanded by her bosses for allowing this.

British MP Sue Doughty has tabled a Parliamentary motion calling on the British Government to use its diplomatic links with Iceland to persuade the Icelandic Government to terminate the building of a series of dams in the Icelandic Highlands.
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