Magma Energy – a Canadian energy company that recently announced it had acquired a 98% stake in the Icelandic power company HS Orka – would like to explore the area around Kerlingafjöll mountain for possible geothermal drilling.
RÚV reports that according to a memo that Magma Energy sent the chairman of local power company Hitaveita Flúða, located in Hrunamannahreppur, Magma would like to explore geothermal activity in the area between the village of Flúðir all the way up to Kerlingafjöll, a mountain beloved by Icelanders and considered one of our natural treasures. The Hrunamannahreppur municipality already has a permit to explore some of that area, but the area that Magma wants to explore is ten times larger.
Ásgeir Margeirsson, the director of Magma Energy Iceland, told reporters that, “We are well aware that Kerlingafjöll is a very special place, and it may turn out that there’s no need to explore for geothermal power there. But there might be. There are guidelines in this country, and we plan to follow them.”
Árni Finnsson, director of the Nature Conservation Society of Iceland, told reporters that the situation points out a major error in the law, in that it allows local governments and private companies to make deals such as this, regardless of what people living in the rest of the country may feel about the idea, and believes this is contradictory to democracy.