Geothermal energy company Magma Energy is ready to invest millions in developing power for a proposed aluminium smelter in Helguvík.
As many Grapevine readers are probably aware, Magma Energy – which has repeatedly contended that they are a “green” company – owns almost all of the Icelandic power company HS Orka, a purchase that has been a source of controversy from the start.
Another controversial project has been a proposed aluminium smelter in Helguvík, which has run into both financial troubles and faced competition for rights to the area. In both cases, the main problem has been the degree of electrical power needed to run such a smelter, as well as concerns over the environmental impact.
The news from television station Stöð 2 reports that Magma Energy has, through its ownership of HS Orka, expressed an interest in investing some 18 billion ISK (about 150 million USD) into expanding a geothermal plant near Grindavík to power the smelter.
The matter is far from a done deal, however. An environmental assessment would need to be done, and construction planning needs to be finished. In addition, drilling for more geothermal deposits in the region could take an indeterminate amount of time. Therefore, an aluminium smelter in Helguvík would not be operational until 2015 at the earliest.