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No Formal Application for Smelter, Energy Supply Uncertain

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No Formal Application for Smelter, Energy Supply Uncertain

Jökulsá á Fjöllum

A glacial river. Further hydropower plants in the region have been suggested. Photo: Benedikt Jóhannesson.

Minister of Industry Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir said no formal application for an aluminum smelter near Skagaströnd in Northwest Iceland has been submitted but that the project has been presented to her. It’s in the initial stages, she said, and the energy has yet to be found.

“The issue has been presented to me by the project’s representatives, but they haven’t formally applied for an investment agreement or other such formal participation from us in the ministry,” Ragnheiður told RÚV.

Ragnheiður added that she finds it pleasing that domestic and foreign companies are willing to invest in large projects in Iceland. However, she pointed out that the energy to power the smelter has yet to be located and that an agreement on energy supply has yet to be reached. That also applies to other projects, which are further along in the process than the smelter.

Icelandic company Klappir Development and Chinese company NFC recently signed a declaration of intent on funding the project in the presence of Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.

“The prime minister is this way declaring his support for the project,” Ragnheiður explained, adding that it’s common for ministers of the government to attend such events.

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