Environment preferred to profits from smelter? Skip to content

Environment preferred to profits from smelter?

The mayor of Reykjanesbaer, southwest Iceland, recently suggested that the planned smelter in Helguvík bay should be built in the nearby Gardur area and further away from Reykjanesbaer, despite a potential loss in profits.

The Mayor of Reykjanesbaer, Árni Sigfússon, told Fréttabladid that he had suggested this location because of environmental reasons. “It is further away from urban areas and further away from the road,” he said.

Had the smelter been built closer to Reykjanesbaer, the town would have received tens of millions of krónur (ISK one million = EUR 10,841, USD 14,114) in real estate taxes every year. But Sigfússon said protecting the area’s environment seems a better long-term decision.

Sigfússon added that despite losing the revenue from the real estate taxes, Reykjanesbaer will still profit from the smelter as it will employ about one thousand workers.

A contract regarding the smelter in Helguvík with aluminum company Nordurál has already been signed. It is scheduled to begin operating in 2010.

The town councils of Reykjanesbaer and Gardur will probably vote on Sigfússon’s suggestion next week.

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