Chief Financial Officer of the American company Century Aluminum Mike Bless announced at the Knight Tumazos Metals and Mining investor conference yesterday that the construction of its new aluminum smelter in Helguvík, southwest Iceland, will fully resume next spring.
The construction of another aluminum smelter, in Reydarfjördur, east Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Bless said it will take approximately 30 months to start aluminum production after operations are launched, so the hope is for the first aluminum to be produced at the beginning of 2012. The goal is to construct the smelter in four stages. Once fully operational, the total capacity will be 360,000 tons, Reuters reports.
Operations were stopped around one year ago when demand for aluminum decreased in addition to the price of aluminum plummeting following the economic crisis.
Bless said Century Aluminum has invested USD 100 million (EUR 67 million) in the Helguvík smelter, but the total cost will likely be six times that amount. The company is therefore considering new means of funding, including having an investor acquire part of the smelter.
In a controversial move, Minister of the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir annulled the decision of her predecessor in September that the Helguvík smelter and related projects would not have to undergo a universal environmental impact assessment.
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