A Chinese polar research organisation is trying to lease a tract of land in Reykjadalur to open an institute for researching the northern lights, Vísir and RÚV report.
The research group is currently discussing the possibility of leasing Kárhóll in northern Iceland through a joint venture with two Icelandic organisations, the Employment Development Society of Eyjafjörður and Arctic Portal.
The group wants to secure a lease on the land for a minimum of 33 years and build a 400 square metre international research institute. There has been talk of further collaboration with the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the University of Akureyri.
The Chinese have lately shown increased interest in expanding business relations with Iceland. Last month, the two countries signed a new free trade agreement.
Still, the Icelandic state has rejected recent attempts by Chinese foreign investors to actually purchase or lease land in the country, as evidence by Huang Nubo’s prolonged saga of unsuccessfully trying to develop a luxury resort in Grímsstaðir in the north east.
Residents in the area of Reykjadalur have already expressed concern about the plans to develop Kárhóll.