Iceland to Reverse Privatization of Energy Companies Skip to content

Iceland to Reverse Privatization of Energy Companies

The Icelandic government wants to reverse the privatization of energy companies and ensure that the companies will be in the majority ownership of the state or municipalities, as announced at a press conference yesterday.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

The government is allegedly looking towards Norwegian legislation which states that the authorities should hold at least one third of shares in energy companies, Fréttabladid reports.

The reason for this change in policy can be traced back to the dissatisfaction of some MPs within the Left-Green Movement with Canadian Magma Energy’s acquisition of the Icelandic energy company HS Orka, which has the right to harness geothermal energy in the Sudurnes region in southwest Iceland for 65 years.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir said that a task force has been appointed to investigate whether Magma’s acquisition is within the framework of the law. The task force is also supposed to make an evaluation of the work environment of the energy industry.

“I believe this is an important milestone; it clearly states the policy of keeping the energy sector in public ownership,” said Left-Green MP Gudfrídur Lilja Grétarsdóttir.

Click here to read more about the Magma controversy.

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