The American company Silicor Materials (SM) hopes to build a plant which could produce thousands of tons of silicon, whilst creating up to 400 jobs.
RÚV reports that SM has requested a plot in Grundartangi on which to build the plant. It is estimated that the project will cost 77 billion ISK, with the aim of beginning production this fall.
Davíð Stefánsson, an advisor to SM, told reporters that the planned plant is expected to produce up to 16,000 tonnes of solar silicon – used for making solar panels – whilst possibly creating up to 400 jobs. He confirmed that SM had sought a plot in Iceland, but added that the advantages of building a plant in other countries are also being explored.
Gísli Gíslason, the harbour manager of Faxaflói Harbours, which owns the plot, said that discussions about the project began late last year, with a final decision due in March. He emphasised that there are no plans to develop Grundartangi into an area of heavily-polluting industry.
“People talk about silicon metal and aluminium,” Gísli said. “But in the case of this area there many more opportunities which are more environmentally friendly, use less energy and need more manpower.” He added that an environmental impact report from the company is in the works.