Borehole in Southwest Iceland Looks Promising Skip to content

Borehole in Southwest Iceland Looks Promising

At a meeting about the aluminum smelter which is being constructed in Helguvík on Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland, held at the Ministry of Industry yesterday, it was revealed that experimental drilling at the peninsula’s high temperature geothermal area has been successful and that the area is likely to be able to provide the smelter with sufficient energy.

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A geothermal power plant in Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The project which has gone through delays might now be up and running again. The executives of Nordurál – Century Aluminum, who will operate the Helguvík smelter, have decided to focus on constructing it in three 90,000-ton stages, Morgunbladid reports.

The annual production capacity of the smelter will thus be 270,000 tons but not 360,000 tons as originally planned. CEO of Nordurál Ragnar Gudmundsson said the fourth stage will be worked on when circumstances allow.

According to Morgunbladid’s sources the company can continue with the project’s execution as soon as an agreement on energy purchase and necessary permits are at hand.

Mayor of Gardur Ásmundur Fridriksson said it is positive that Nordurál is now prepared to focus on completing the smelter’s first three stages because then it will be easier to ensure the required energy.

At the meeting it was also revealed that planning issues in Grindavík are moving ahead and it is believed that an agreement between the energy company HS Orka and the municipality regarding a power plant in Eldvörp is underway.

“We have become more optimistic,” Fridriksson said after the meeting.

The construction of the aluminum smelter in Helgavík and connected power plants will take six to ten years. In that time around 2,000 jobs can be created.

The Sudurnes region on Reykjanes peninsula is harder hit by unemployment than any other region in Iceland.

Click here to read more about unemployment in Iceland and here to read more news related to the smelter in Helguvík.

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