An article in the British newspaper Financial Times speculates whether the acquisition of the Chinese investment company Zhongkun Group, chaired by Huang Nubo, of the land Grímsstadir á Fjöllum in northeast Iceland may be connected with the Chinese wanting to increase their presence in the Arctic Ocean.
Jökulsárgljúfur, close to Grímsstadir. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
According to ruv.is, the article mentions that if climate change enables ocean transport through the Arctic Ocean, Iceland could become an important center for shipping from Asia.
Although Grímsstadir is not on the ocean, it is close to a planned large harbor in Gunnólfsvík bay on Langanes.
It is assumed that the harbor will accommodate and serve oil production in the future, both in the so-called Dragon Zone off northeast Iceland and east Greenland.
Other Chinese companies have also expressed interest in investments in this area; Hisjang Group is keen on exporting up to 100,000 tons of water from Langanes annually.
In the land use master plan of the local Langanesbyggd municipality, it is assumed that an international airport will be located at Thórshöfn with a hangar for helicopter services for oil rigs.
The FT article also mentions the ISK 66 billion (USD 578 million, EUR 401 million) currency exchange agreement between the Central Bank of Iceland and China in the summer of 2010 that is valid for three years.
This is an indication that Chinese authorities want to strengthen their diplomatic relationship with Iceland, the article reasons.