Polysilicon Factory Will Not Rise in South Iceland Skip to content

Polysilicon Factory Will Not Rise in South Iceland

Norwegian company REC Group (Renewable Energy Corporation) has decided to establish a polysilicon factory in Quebec, Canada, instead of in Thorlákshöfn in south Iceland.

The factory would have required a 120-hectare lot and employed around 300 people, half of which required a university degree, Fréttabladid reports.

Thórdur H. Hilmarsson, managing director of Fjárfestingarstofnun, the institute responsible for financing the project in Iceland, said REC Group has not explained why they decided to establish the factory in Canada.

“They owe us an explanation,” Hilmarsson said, adding that he expected an answer in the next few days. “Then there is also the question on whether this is a permanent decision. REC Group constructs such factories every 18 years.”

Ólafur Áki Ragnarsson, Mayor of the Ölfus municipality where Thorlákshöfn is located, said he is surprised by REC Group’s decision. “It was a shock to us,” he said.

Ragnarsson said he suspected that the uncertainty on whether renewable energy could be provided had caused the company to choose Canada over Iceland. “The energy discussion has been unstable and people have been opposed to Bitruvirkjun [power plant] and energy production in Hellisheidi pass.”

Jon André Lökke, information officer for REC, told Fréttabladid that electricity had been secured in Iceland for the first phase of the factory but that the workforce would possibly have had to be imported for the construction period and that the raw material could have proved more costly in Iceland than in Canada.

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