'Kárahnjúkar' Tag Archive

Mar 16 2006

Megaprojects and Risk – An Anatomy of Ambition


In this book Bent Flyvbjerg and others outline the exact blueprint of the methods employed by the Icelandic authorities to drive through their energy policies. Original edition is in Danish.

“Megaprojects and Risk provides the first detailed examination of the phenomenon of megaprojects. It is a fascinating account of how the promoters of multi-billion dollar megaprojects systematically and self-servingly misinform parliaments, the public and the media in order to get projects approved and built. It shows, in unusual depth, how the formula for approval is an unhealthy cocktail of underestimated costs, overestimated revenues, undervalued environmental impacts and overvalued economic development effects. This results in projects that are extremely risky, but where the risk is concealed from MPs, taxpayers and investors. The authors not only explore the problems but also suggest practical solutions drawing on theory, experience and hard, scientific evidence from the several hundred projects in twenty nations and five continents that illustrate the book. Accessibly written, it will be the standard reference for students, scholars, planners, economists, auditors, politicians and interested citizens for many years to come.” Read More

Mar 09 2006

‘Youth Against Heavy Industry’ Invade Offices of National Power Company


The Reykjavík offices of the much loathed Landsvirkjun, the Icelandic National Power Company, were gatecrashed by over thirty angry young people who banged drums, shouted and blew whistles in defiance against Landsvirkjun, heavy industry and ecocidal dams in the Icelandic highlands. Some held a banner with the by now famous subversion of the company name: ILLVIRKJUN (Evil energy.)

Although Landsvirkjun officials called the cops the cops restrained themselves and did not repeat last week’s much criticised violence against the youths. The Killers of Nature just had to bear the bad vibes.

A Landsvirkjun PR man complained there was no interest from the group of protesters to enter into dialogue with him. Seems like he and his bosses need a few more visits like this to get the point that by now it’s too late for any friendly “dialogue.” One of the youths stated they had had: “Enough of spins and propaganda based on greenwash, lies and manipulated information.”

It is unlikely that Landsvirkjun’s crimes against the Icelandic environment and against democracy will be forgiven by coming generations. “We demand an independent investigation into the affairs of Landsvirkjun and ultimately its utter annihilation as a company.” 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
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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.]

Feb 15 2006

14 March Day of Action against Dams, and for Rivers, Water and Life


From International Rivers Network

14 March is the International Day of Action against Dams, and for Rivers, Water and Life.

Inspire better stewardship of our rivers by taking bold action. Every year on at this time, people around the world lift their voices to celebrate victories such as dam removal and river restoration; to demand improvement in policies and practices of decision makers; and to teach others about issues threatening rivers and communities. Join us for the International Day of Action. The rivers cannot speak for themselves.

Take action for Rivers, Water and Life!!

For more information see: www.irn.org

Feb 14 2006

‘Funeral Demo’ of Icelandic Nature at London Embassy


Today around twenty protesters descended upon the Icelandic London Embassy in order to continue their protest against the series of major hydroelectric dam projects due to be constructed on Iceland’s glacial rivers.

frogmarchedcu 

The power derived from these destructive dam projects is for the sole benefit of the multinational aluminium industry. Companies such as Alcan, Alcoa and Century are expanding their operations in Iceland to exploit these cheap power sources. In the long term Iceland’s unique wilderness will be encroached upon from all directions by heavy industry in the form of colossal dam’s power stations and Aluminium smelters at immense irreversible cost to the natural environment.

tombscu

The protesters held mock tombstones mourning the demise of: Read More

Feb 08 2006

Impregilo Demo’d Over Iceland Dams


Oxford Autonomous Action

This morning, activists visited the offices of Impregilo New Cross Ltd, part of the company which is building the controversial Karahnjukar Dam in Iceland.

The campaigners turned up at 85e Centurion Court, Milton Park outside of Abingdon with banners, leaflets & drums. Wandering in to the first floor open plan office, they proceeded to speak to all the employees, including the senior management. One person met with the finance director of the company who promised to scan the leaflet and send it to their head office in Italy.

Everyone was remarkably polite and listened to what we had to say. Many of them had already heard about the dam, and we had to explain to them that it was not too late for Impregilo to pull out of this disaster waiting to happen.

Afterwards, an impromptu samba set was performed outside while all the cars in the area were leafleted. Read More

Feb 08 2006

Heavy Industry Projects Have Low Returns, Displace Jobs


Iceland Review

The required return on investment of the hydroelectric power plant at Kárahnjúkar was too low said Ágúst Gudmundsson, chairman of Bakkavör on the current affairs program Kastljós (Spotlight) Tuesday, according to the Icelandic Broadcasting Service, RÚV. “I would have preferred that the money had been spent in a different way,” he said. Read More

Feb 03 2006

Killing Iceland – The Movie! (Clay animation)


CLICK HERE!

Náttúruvaktin