Chinese Investor against Hydropower Plant in Jökulsá Skip to content

Chinese Investor against Hydropower Plant in Jökulsá

Chinese investor Huang Nubo whose company Zhongkun Group has made an acquisition offer to Grímsstadir á Fjöllum, a piece of land in northeast Iceland, said he will give up the water rights to the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum which flows through the land and that he is against harnessing its hydropower.

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Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In an email interview with Fréttabladid, Huang said he is sorry that his business in Iceland is being connected with political powers in China. “It isn’t fair to say my business has something to do with politics in a Cold War context. Our lives would be much simpler if people wouldn’t worry about China so much.”

If the Icelandic Ministry of the Interior grants Zhongkun Group the exemption from Icelandic law necessary for the acquisition to go through, he will commence construction there as soon as possible.

This includes a hotel, golf course, an airport, and facilities for sightseeing tours via hot air balloon and for horseback riding. These developments are estimated to cost ISK 11.5 billion (USD 100 million, EUR 70 million).

Huang said he is concerned about nature protection and one of his first tasks would be to divide the land into territories for preservation and development. He would take public opinion into consideration before sending his proposals to the authorities.

When asked whether the joint ownership of Grímsstadir á Fjöllum by himself and the Icelandic state won’t interrupt his plans, Huang said:

“Every step I will take will be in compliance with Icelandic law. And the authorities will have an overview of all construction plans that I intend to embark on so that the process will be as transparent as possible and guarantee success.”

Left-Green MP Gudfrídur Lilja Grétarsdóttir commented on the acquisition in the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, yesterday, saying it is illegal and that the government must show responsibility by not granting the legal exemption required for it to be carried through, ruv.is reports.

Grétarsdóttir went on to ask Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir about the work on reviewing the framework program on the harnessing of mineral resources. Júlíusdóttir replied that the work is ongoing.

Grétarsdóttir iterated her opposition to Huang’s acquisition of Grímsstadir, especially as the framework program has yet to be concluded.

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ESA

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