Around 200 Helgavík residents attended a meeting discussing plans to reopen the bankrupt United Silicon plant, RÚV reports.
A representative from the plants new owner Stakksberg, a subsidiary of Arion Bank, stated that they have not considered permanently shuttering the plant. Þórður Ólafur Þórðarson, the managing director of Stakksberg, said the company had already spent 20 billion ISk on the project. He announced plans to restart silicon production in 2020.
Þórólfur Júlían Dagsson, the spokesman for opponents of heavy industry in Helgavík, called for a petition to initiate a referendum on the future of the plant, contending it is the right of residents to determine its future. There is precedent for such a vote; in 2007, Hafnarfjörður residents narrowly rejected the expansion of an aluminium smelter in their community.
The United Silicon plant went bankrupt at the beginning of the year, after months of health problems resulting from pollution and financial mismanagement.