Reykjavík Energy to Sell Investment Branch? Skip to content

Reykjavík Energy to Sell Investment Branch?

Representatives of the majority coalition in Reykjavík City Council, who have a seat on the board of Reykjavík Energy (OR), will today submit a proposal regarding preparations to sell OR’s daughter company Reykjavík Energy Invest (REI).

According to Fréttabladid, the Independence Party-Liberal Party coalition has reached an agreement on this move, yet last night Reykjavík Mayor Ólafur F. Magnússon of the Liberal Party said in an interview on RÚV’s news magazine program Kastljós that REI would not be taken out of the hands of the public.

The owners of OR agreed at a meeting in February that REI would be in 100 percent ownership of OR, which is in public ownership.

“I can promise Reykjavík residents that while we [Reykjavík City] own REI it will be in 100 percent public ownership,” the mayor said. “But selling REI is not out of the question, according to the conclusion of the investigation committee.”

The investigation committee Magnússon refers to was established to investigate the legality of the merger between REI and Geysir Green Energy (GGE), which was later aborted. In February, the multi-partisan committee handed in its conclusive report on how OR and REI should be operated.

Reykjavík City Councilmember Gísli Marteinn Baldursson of the Independence Party told Fréttabladid that by selling REI the majority coalition is taking a clear stand on OR’s energy investment projects. “I have always had the opinion that the public should not be involved in risky operations abroad.”

Chairman of the board of OR and REI Kjartan Magnússon said REI’s planned project in Africa does not stand in opposition to the potential sale of REI.

Baldursson added the potential sale does not contradict the conclusion of the multi-partisan investigation committee. “I was on that committee and we always agreed that REI should not participate in projects involving risky investments abroad.”

Óskar Bergsson, Progressive Party representative from the opposition within the Reykjavík City Council disagrees. He said plans to sell REI are in total contradiction with the multi-partisan committee’s agreement that REI should be in 100 percent ownership of OR.

Baldursson admitted that the Independence Party should have expressed their view that REI should be sold sooner, even immediately after the investigation committee handed in its conclusive report in February.

“Without a doubt, we should have said it sooner, but I think we [members of the Independence Party in Reykjavík City Council] have all expressed our views on this matter before, each in our own way,” Marteinsson concluded.

Click here to read more about REI and the heated debate surrounding the company.

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