From Iceland — National Power Company Completes Purchase of Local Power Plant

National Power Company Completes Purchase of Local Power Plant

Published December 10, 2010

Landsvirkjun bought remaining shares of the Þeistareykjavirkjun power plant, which has been intended to provide electricity for a proposed aluminium smelter near Húsavík.
The company Þeistareykja ehf began exploration for geothermal power in the Þingeyjarsveit region in 1999, and established the power plant shortly thereafter, providing electricity to the region. In 2005, the power company Landsvirkjun bought a 32% share in the company.
Earlier this year, Landsvirkjun had all told bought up about 95% of the company, and the municipality of Þingeyjarsveit owned about 4%. Yesterday, the municipality agreed to go to the table with Landsvirkjun, for the purpose of selling its remaining shares in Þeistareykjavirkjun.
At the same meeting where this decision was made, it was also decided to add pressure to parliament to focus on the use of power in the region, for the purpose of developing much-needed jobs. This is in reference to a proposed aluminium smelter in Bakki, near Húsavík, which would be powered in part by Þeistareykjavirkjun.
However, an environmental assessment of the proposed smelter by the Icelandic National Planning Agency advised against the building of the project, saying in part that it would destroy thousands of hectares of unspoiled wilderness, have a negative impact on the tourist industry by uglifying the landscape, and that it would increase Iceland’s yearly CO2 emissions by 14% of its current annual output.

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