The municipality Nordurthing in northeast Iceland has received a request for talks on a 20-hectare piece of land at Bakki near Húsavík from the company Thorsil which is interested in building a silicon metal factory in Iceland in cooperation with the Canadian Timminco.
Geothermal energy. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
“We haven’t made an agreement on the purchase of electricity but are trying to secure the land in case we manage to get energy there,” Hákon Björnsson, managing director of Thorsil, told Fréttabladid.
The company had originally planned to build the factory in Thorlákshöfn, southwest Iceland, or at Grundartangi by Hvalfjördur in the west, but is now looking towards the geothermal area Theistareykir in northeast Iceland for energy.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the German company PCC was interested in building a silicon metal factory at Bakki, a project which is still at a discussion level. American aluminum giant Alcoa has long been interested in building a smelter at Bakki.
Bergur Elías Ágústsson, who chairs the Nordurthing municipality, said it is pleasing that so much interest is being shown to development in the area.
“We have PCC, have had great cooperation with Alcoa and now Thorsil applies. We will welcome them as we have welcomed others who have come to us, with a positive attitude. We just hope that the jobs and operations will start ticking soon, for the benefit of locals and the entire nation,” Ágústsson said.
He added that locals have become tired of waiting for operations to begin. “Since 1998 we have had one goal and that is to create 600 to 800 jobs in the Thingeyjarsýslur counties. If we do it with a smelter that’s great, if it’s by other means that’s fine too.”
Ágústsson stated everything is ready apart from making an agreement on an energy purchase. It was recently reported that drilling has resumed at Theistareykir; power plants and large-scale operations in the area are disputed.
Click here to read more about the drilling.